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Bolivarian House of Cards

Hugo Chavez isn’t the only Venezuelan entity with health problems these days. The national economy has been struggling for some time, and things look to be getting worse. Goods shortages, high inflation, slow growth — Venezuela has it all.

With a fresh round of “elections” looming on the horizon, the wannabe Grand Poohbah of the Axis of Ankle-biters is doing his best to paper over these cracks with a fresh debt issue to the tune of $4.2bn.

The news is a fire alarm.  Economically speaking, Venezuela is an oil well.  When oil prices are high, Venezuela should be socking money away.  Maxing out its credit cards when oil prices are high means that the Venezuelan economy is falling off a cliff.

Only two questions left: when will Venezuela’s economy hit the rocks, and how much will it hurt?

Worse, Venezuela isn’t borrowing to cover the cost of policy changes that could avert the coming disasters.  It is borrowing to subsidize the ruinous policies that landed the country in its current jam.

When you are in a hole, stop digging.  And if you can’t stop digging, at least stop buying bigger shovels with borrowed money.

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