Venezuela Dispatches Army To Enforce Appliance "Fair Price" Ceiling After Looting Ensues

Tyler Durden's picture

Over the weekend, in "Venezuela Government "Occupies" Electronics Retail Chain, Enforces "Fair" Prices", we reported that unpopular president Nicolas Maduro ordered the "occupation" of a chain of electronic goods stores in a crackdown on what the socialist government views as price-gouging hobbling the country's economy. Various managers of the five-store, 500-employee Daka chain - the local equivalent of Best Buy - have been arrested, and the company would be forced to sell products at "fair prices." Since then things have escalated rapidly. Because as we queried, and many wondered, the first question that arose is how would Maduro i) assure that prices were indeed kept at their "fair values" and ii) how would the cool, calm and orderly social order be preserved when suddenly everyone scrambles to buy all those flatscreens (which may have certain operational problems once the socialist paradise is hit with daily electric brown and blackouts very soon) they have been dreaming of for years. Now we know: with the help of the army.

NBC reports that in his "fight" against the economic "war" that he says the political opposition, in collusion with the United States, is waging against Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro ordered the military occupation of a chain of electronics stores over the weekend, forcing the company to charge "fair" prices. This is happening hours after Maduro also promised that he will lower prices of mobile phones: will battalion regimens be tasked with making sure iPhone 5S are sold at a net profit for Apple?

But back to serious matters such as how brilliant socialist decrees result in immediate looting:

Pictures shared on social media as well as local newspaper reports said that one store in the country's central city of Valencia faced looting. Some critics suggested that the entire operation was a form of looting organized by the government, just in time for municipal elections in December.

"This is for the good of the nation," Maduro said on state television. "Leave nothing on the shelves, nothing in the warehouses … Let nothing remain in stock!"

Pay attention: this is coming to every "developed" banana republic near you.

Head of the High Commission for the People's Defence of the Economy Hebert Garcia Plaza attempted to explain the government's decision to take over Daka on state television on Friday, accusing the chain of unfair markups.


From a Daka store in Caracas, the government minister tweeted a picture of a washer/dryer that "cost 39,000 VEF on November 1 and today costs 59,000 VEF, a nearly 100 percent rise in a week."

And while observed from the outside what is going on in Venezuela is a hoot, it hardly is to those stuck in the socialist paradise:

Local economist Jose Guerra, a former Central Bank official, was critical of not just the events at Daka but the bigger picture. "Food today, hunger tomorrow," he wrote on Twitter.


Venezuela's opposition leader, Henrique Capriles, has long blamed the government for the state of the country's economy. On Saturday, he tweeted: "Everything Maduro does leads to further destruction of the economy."


"Today it's Daka. Tomorrow it'll be the banks where you save your money," tweeted Maria G. Colmenares, a professor at a local university.


Oscar Diaz resorted to sarcasm to make his point: "Daka had flour, sugar, milk and other basics. The shortage is over! Ah sorry, they sell [appliances]! Oops."

At this point there is little left to comment on either Venezuela, or the rest of the world that has adopted the same "fairness doctrine" principle. Best to just sit back and consume the trans-fat free popcorn.

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F0ster's picture

this will heppen in the US soon

cougar_w's picture

This is how it looks when central governments set out to fight hyperinflation.

Buys them some time. But only a moment. Then the roof falls in. Hyper-deflation then eats them alive and their world ends.

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

They should let bankers control their economy and government. It appears to work just great in the good ol' U.S. of A. He who inhabits glass houses shall not throw stones or some bible bullshit like that....

SilverIsKing's picture

I have no issue with government price controls....

















.......on gold and silver.


Provides more ounces for each FRN.

The Alarmist's picture

"Crazy Maduro, his prices are IN-SA-A-A-A-A-ANE!"

mjcOH1's picture

Where my Obama-TV?   Venezuela got Chazez-TVs.   So where the fucks my Obama-TV?

Freddie's picture

Never forget that Jimmy Carter monitored and found the elections putting Chavez in power to be fair and untainted with fraud.  Sick.

I knew a few Venezuelan middle class people who were trying to get out right after Chavez was "elected." Sickening.   The left always rigs elections like they do in the USA.

Big Brother's picture

I believe you're looking for Luke 6:42:

How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Whether or not you believe the potentially mythological aspects of the bible... It did cover hypocracy. 

Anyhow, Venezula would not have this problem if the Bolivar or whatever fiat they're using these days was the global reserve currency.  Resource paradox sucks (unless you're Norweigan).

Poor Grogman's picture

Please Explain how Hyper deflation ate the Soviet Union alive.

Should make for some interesting classes in the reeducation camps.

cougar_w's picture

You are not thinking far enough ahead. Hyperinflation can only exist while there is a functional central government willing to print and maintain the fantasy of a monetary system. When everything falls apart badly enough, when nobody has a job or income, then the rules completely change. Hyperdeflation is the signal that there is no faith in the future of the existing system. When faith evaporates people hoard hard resources (even irrationally) and for most of the output of the economic system there are no buyers at any price, so the price drops to zero for the crap nobody needs anymore, which in the end is almost everything. Business cannot sell, cannot hire, and cannot buy raw materials, so the normal economic engines then flame out. This is the precursor to the rise of non-economic systems like barter between producers. Barter and scrip and the rest of the "alternative economies" of course dwell at the bottom of the deflationary well, right where we started 800 years ago.

If this causes you to worry about the value in fiat of your PM holdings; indeed.

Poor Grogman's picture

"and for most of the output of the economic system there are no buyers at any price, so the price drops to zero for the crap nobody needs anymore, which in the end is almost everything"

If you mention inflation or deflation you have to define what the denominator is. It's no use mixing and matching across assets and currencies.

I'm being kind to you, I am just assuming you forgot to mention what things are deflating in terms of what currencies.

A more succinct appraisal of your quoted paragraph is written below.

WTF are you smoking dude?

cougar_w's picture

I'm smoking "no buyers at any price" but that's not a blend most people can handle.

Poor Grogman's picture

Logical fallacy + complete lack of evidence, does not a convincing argument make.

I tell you what cougar I will give you one Benny buck for everything you own. This will help prove once and for all your theory that there can exist in the world of fiat currency a situation where there are " no buyers at any price".

I won't even ask for a full inventory of all your stuff, promise!

ronaldawg's picture

Cougar you have it backwards - first deflation then hyper-inflation and then GAME OVER.

jonytk's picture

mayabe deflation in $ but in banana republic money it's hyperinflation.

Headbanger's picture

And just as there, "fair price" it will be taken to mean "free shit"!

TeamDepends's picture

What is fair?  We'll tell you what's fair!!!

onewayticket2's picture

"if you like your price, you can keep it!"

Mercury's picture

Wake up and smell the Mugabe.

maskone909's picture

you had me at brown outs

kito's picture

political opposition in collusion with the u.s.??? why, president O is like Maduro's ideological soul mate!!!! he feels for you Maduro!!! he is with you!!! he understands fair pricing, like for example health insurance!!!  nooo Maduro, O is on your side!!!

robobbob's picture

ahp, not too quick there

they may both be marxists at heart, but there are marxists who are out there doing their own thing, and then there are the marxists who are on the payroll.

trotsky got an axe to the head for his trouble.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Viva los precios muis altos!  Que Viva!

ronincap's picture

What the hell is wrong with the venezuelan people voting for maduro which means you will have not toilet paper and have to use your hands ...the country is fucked

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

There was a bit of electorial hanky panky involved in his win. But the winner when they control the military get to squash the legal challenges and that is exactly what happened.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

-1 for off-topic.  We're not talking about prior US presidential elections here.  oh wait

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

This particular game goes beyond ideology. It is a more basic human problem concerning power and the wielding of it. And it really wasn't off topic my point was not as many people voted for Maduro as claimed and when you can't win an election you fix it. It was easy for him to do since the support structure was already in place, he wasn't trying to dismantle it but keep it in place.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

I was being facetious...I up arrowed you!  I take a dim view on our own electoral college, in fact I take a dim view naturally on anything I don't see with my own eyes.

bonin006's picture

It's different here in the USSA - You just need to control the so called supreme court.

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

It gets serious once this comes to your local supermarket in Caracas. This is the prelims to full retard socialism and killing fields.

RMolineaux's picture

Or to your local supermarket in inner city US.  Oops!  It already came

RMolineaux's picture

Very often when there are protests against police shootings, they are accompanied by store looting.  Systematic shop-lifting has become a gang enterprise in many cities, especially Chicago.  Strolling through inner city neighborhoods, you will note that the large supermarket chains are absent and small grocery stores have heavy protection.

Keyser's picture

Once confidence is lost by business' to protect their assets, all commerce will stop in Venezuela and their economy will come to a screeching halt. That's when the SHTF. 


czardas's picture

Of course.  This is the real problem.  No business is going to put with this shit because they see the writing on the wall. That governemtn is like a parasite - the more they take, the more they want.  It's a form of suicidal intertia.  Any company doing business in that hellhole is considering their options since lawlessness is now the norm.  

RMolineaux's picture

Tyler:   Who gave you the idea that Maduro is an "unpopular" president?    Oh, I know - the main stream media.

SkottFree's picture

washer/dryer that "cost 39,000 VEF on November 1 and today costs 59,000 VEF, a nearly 100 percent rise in a week."

No hyper inflation here in this banana republic! Nicolas Maduro caused a 100% drop in the value of there currency and he says they are raising prices. Wow does that ever sound familiar!

machineh's picture

59,000/39,000 = 1.5128 = +51.28%

Off by only 49% from the claimed 'nearly 100 percent.'

One perceives that Venezuela's escuelas have world-class standards of math education ... BWA HA HA HA!

Socialism makes you fucking retarded ...

tenpanhandle's picture

If you are an accountant, we would like to employ you.


Signed, Kathleen Sebelius

buzzsaw99's picture

Billie Jean is not my lover. She's just a girl...

One eyed man's picture

This has been happening for centuries.

Step 1 - Debase the currency.

Step 2 - Blame the merchants for price increases.

Step 3 - Impose price controls.

The Roman emperor Diocletian did the same thing in 291.

The result is that all commerce will move to the black market.

Joe Davola's picture

Wouldn't the commerce be moving to the Zambo Market?

Poor Grogman's picture

Step 4 Impose the death penalty for disobeying the price controls

Step 5. Starvation destitution misery, collapsing living standards.

Step 6. Human flight

Step 7. Societal collapse, (or). invasion from outside. I.e. " barbarians at the gates". Or just a relapse into agrarian living (or) some combination of the above.

Unfortunately one doesnt get to choose.

Keyser's picture

Personally, when this comes knocking on our door, I would move step 6 to around step 3.5... In other words, get the hell out of Dodge before the SHTF. 


tenpanhandle's picture

And in a completely unrelated story, a number of container ships heading to Venezuela collided as they were executing tight u-turns.