Venezuela’s currency: Crackers in Caracas
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Empire of the geeks
As the government prints money, hyperinflation looms
THIS month Venezuela’s currency, the bolívar, passed a melancholy milestone: its value on the black market is now a hundredth of what it is supposed to be at the main official exchange rate. The government insists that there are 6.3 bolívares to the dollar, but it will cost you 630 to buy one from a willing seller. As the country’s stock of hard currency shrinks and the central bank prints money to plug a huge budget deficit, the bolívar’s collapse is accelerating (see chart). It is worth a thousandth of what it was in 1999, when Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s late autocrat, came to power.
The country may be on the verge of hyperinflation. Most economists reckon that the inflation rate is already 120% a year (the central bank …<div class="og_rss_groups"></div>
Source: The Economy