We made it!
Shayne, my wise economics-minded friend, predicted in May that the parallel rate would reach 1000 before the new year. He’s off by a month, but only because the elections went so well. Since I am admittedly not able to expound the intricate cause/effect relationships inherent in macro economic systems, I can’t say why a sweeping victory by the opposition coalition would stave off the parallel rate’s steady rise to the stratosphere. But it did, and I suppose it makes sense (not that anything regarding the Venezuelan economy actually makes any sort of sense).
1000 is no reason to celebrate. 1000 is an arbitrary (yet significant) milestone. The folks at Caracas Chronicles wrote intelligently about it. 1000 dollars to most people is a lot of money. 1000 bolivares to 1 dollar is a harbinger of default/hyper-inflation/collapse.
The one and only benefit is that it makes the mental math easier when we go to buy whatever we can find to buy.
Ah yes. Back in Sept 2014, when the rate reached 100, I started looking at possible projections since it seemed there was no way for the Chavistas to avoid continuing to print money. At that time, I settled on 400 by June 2015 and 1000 by Jan 2016. But, I kept hoping I’d be wrong – for the sake of the VZ people. Sadly, the insanity continued. Even now, with an opposition win, Maduro is blocking any meaningful changes, first by denying the legitimate win of a supermajority of the opposition, and beyond that by packing courts, privatizing the government bank, and even seeking to create a parallel legislature. Still, when we were in VZ, there was all sorts of craziness too. Yet, the ex-pat bubble enabled us to live in some sort of oasis there. Still, though, the dangers were quite real and we just hoped for the best each day. Warsaw is quite the contrast. Boys (ages 9 & 11) are taking city busses alone, no guards around houses, and no shortages of anything. And, only 25 years ago, this place was trapped by Soviet communism. I hope the same can someday happen for VZ. It does seem that the spool of can only unravel for so long. Ultimately, I believe the military will be the one to decide what is next. Either support a government with less than 20% of popular support but that is providing military officials with all kinds of kickbacks and benefits (albeit those must be dwindling). Or, decide it is time to turn the page on the Chavista chapter, honor the wishes and dreams of the people as clearly spoken in December, and hope for the best. No way to predict what will happen. We are thinking of all of you – ex-pats and Venezuelans alike!