Venezuela's 4,000% Hyperinflation 'Breaks' Cash-Weighing Scales

Mired in a brutal economic collapse, Venezuela refuses to publish basic statistics.

So Bloomberg created their own gauge to measure one of the most important of all the missing figures - inflation (or hyperinflation in this case).

Bloomberg explains that, as the name would suggest, it tracks just one item: a cup of coffee served piping hot at a bakery in eastern Caracas. Its price has jumped to 75,000 bolivars from 1,800 bolivars over the past 12 months, an increase of 4,067%.

As we noted previously, the printing press simply cannot save the country from a death spiral, but it doesn’t mean Maduro is prepared to let go of power. He has maintained that Venezuela's problems are due to economic warfare being waged by the United States to topple the oil-rich socialist regime.

Bremmer Rodrigues, who runs a bakery on the outskirts of Caracas, said his family are at a loss over what to do with their bags of bills. “It’s a mountain of cash, every day more and more.”
The shrinking value of the currency has meant that withdrawing the equivalent of $5 from an ATM produces brickloads of bills. Some ATMs now need to be refilled every few hours, because the machines can only hold so much cash. This means there are often a limited number of functioning ATMs in Caracas, and long queues to withdraw money.

But the wheelbarrows-full of bills have meant paying for everyday groceries has changed in the socialist utopia.

Having thrown in the towel on hyperinflation by printing banknotes with 200-times-higher denominations, we noted previously that things in Venezuela have continued to get worse with the currency now so devalued (with even simple purchases requiring so many bills) that instead of counting bills, they are weighing them.

Once one of the world’s strongest currencies, the bolivar has been reduced to a nuisance.

The Bolivar has collapsed beyond almost any expectation and it now takes over 20,000 Bolivars to buy a USDollar on the black-market...

Basic purchases require hundreds of bills. Shoppers shove piles of them into gym bags before venturing into crime-plagued streets and shopkeepers stash thousands in boxes and overflowing drawers.

“When they start weighing cash, it’s a sign of runaway inflation,” said Jesus Casique, financial director of Capital Market Finance, a consulting firm.

But Venezuelans don’t know just how bad it is because the government refuses to publish figures.

But now, as Bloomberg reports this week, even the scales can't cope!

The price of a kilogram of ham is just too long.

“We don’t have any.”

Living in Venezuela, you get used to hearing that, but the story behind the missing ham was different. It’s not that supermarket managers were having trouble finding enough to sell - the typical cause of shortages ravaging the country - they had decided to stop ordering it. The reason: After years of hyperinflation, the price is too long.

The store’s deli scales run to only six digits.

And ham, my Whatsapp food-hunting community tells me, is retailing nowadays for about 1,480,000 bolivars per kilogram. It didn’t matter that I wanted only a few hundred milligrams. The cost was, at this market at least, incalculable.

...the clerk told me they’re trying to fix the scale so they know how much to charge.

They’d better add a whole lot of digits.

And, as Bloomberg previously concluded, people like Bremmer Rodrigues, 25, who runs a bakery on Caracas’ outskirts, are at a loss over what to do with their bags of bills. Every day his business takes in hundreds of thousands of bolivars, which he hides around his office until packing them up in boxes to deposit at the bank. He says if someone looked in on him, he might be mistaken for a drug dealer..

“I feel like Pablo Escobar,” he said. “It’s a mountain of cash, every day more and more.”


Fireman Thu, 03/15/2018 - 13:02 Permalink

How much of Venezuela's collapse can be attributed to the evil in Washing town?

That's the question that USSANS have been trained to avoid.

Endgame Napoleon yrad Thu, 03/15/2018 - 17:47 Permalink

They will be famous—more than the 15-minute Warholian fame—because they will be a case study in text books, cited by students for 200 years.

I do not understand the difference between this “hyperinflation” and what happened in the Weimar Republic. I have read articles, describing that as deflation. 

In reply to by yrad

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Miffed Microbi… Thu, 03/15/2018 - 16:24 Permalink

I know three teens in HS. I doubt they would last one hour before freaking out and calling home for mummy and daddy to rescue them. They wouldn't be able to deal with getting out of the airport before breaking down, crying, and screaming to go home. Good idea. But most kids in the US are completely unprepared for reality, least of all the reality they would find once their plane touched down in Venezuela.

In reply to by Miffed Microbi…

Count Cherep Miffed Microbi… Thu, 03/15/2018 - 17:46 Permalink

I lived in Venezuela for fourteen years, traveled extensively throughout that beautiful country, and got out while the getting was good around thirty years ago.

While I do not doubt that the economic hit-men are at work, and that the jackals are on their way, the corruption of the ruling political parties of that era led to the appeal of the socialists/communists who continued with their own corruption.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (or even worse).

By the way, when I lived there, the exchange rate was 4.30 bolívares  per U.S. dollar.

While I lived there I never experienced any animosity due to the fact that I was an American — that fact was, instead, a reason for friendship. I doubt that would be the case now, and I would not return to Venezuela for any reason.

"Our" government has squandered almost every opportunity to have friendly relationships with just about every country on Earth, except, of course, Israel...

In reply to by Miffed Microbi…

Count Cherep Count Cherep Fri, 03/16/2018 - 00:01 Permalink

The fact that "our" government is ZOG (Zionist Occupied Government) and has been for a long time explains what is otherwise inexplicable regarding its policies both foreign and domestic. 

The Ultimate World Order

(as pictured in The Jewish Utopia)

by Maj. Robert H. Williams

The World in False-Face

by Professor Revilo P. Oliver

Behind Communism

By Frank L. Britton

In reply to by Count Cherep

Endgame Napoleon Miffed Microbi… Thu, 03/15/2018 - 17:53 Permalink

Geezus, you really believe in punishing the snowflakes, don’t you? They do not even have enough toothpaste to get through the month in Venezuela, and there is no telling how much fighting is going on over basic resources. It would be dangerous for snowflakes, like many areas of the USA, with its deteriorating middle class. If the tough-love parents really meant this stuff, they would just send their kids into dangerous areas of cities in the USA, where they do not let them go. Because, ummm, it is dangerous.

In reply to by Miffed Microbi…

johnjkiii Fireman Thu, 03/15/2018 - 18:04 Permalink

Zero! How many times does the socialist "plan" have to do this before idiots like you recognize the symptoms? The people love it at first, then run out of free stuff, then inflation in the thousands of percent, then it has to enforced at the point of a bayonet. Russia went from a net exported of wheat but at the end was importing most of it. Venezuela had (still has) the the worlds largest reserves of oil but effed up it's own oil industry. This happens every time, everywhere it's tried.

You are bonded proof that there is no cure for stupidity. 

In reply to by Fireman

mosfet ted41776 Thu, 03/15/2018 - 14:21 Permalink

You ain't seen nothing yet. First world countries are going to turn hyperinflation into an art form via a cashless economy. Think regular revaluations and variable currency expiration dates. The Fed will be able to print as much as they want and you'll have to spend your Dollars before they expire. Nothing like forced money velocity to keep the economy and stock markets afloat.

In reply to by ted41776

Endgame Napoleon ted41776 Thu, 03/15/2018 - 18:05 Permalink

It is even less likely to happen in the USA due to our rock-solid employment statistics, with 50 million working-aged American citizens out of the workforce and half of all who are counted as  “employed,” working part time for average yearly earnings of 13,000 not yet hyperinflated dollars. Here in the [truly] affluent USA, the $13k really buys $13,000 in goods and services, plus whatever the womb-productive citizens and noncitizens can buy with thousands added on by goverment for sex and reproduction in the form of monthly welfare and child tax credits.

In reply to by ted41776

abgary1 Thu, 03/15/2018 - 13:14 Permalink

If the money supply for Canada was in the hands of the socialist retards ( PM Justin Turdeau, Comrade Wynne, Ratchel Nutley, John Whoregan), Canada would be experiencing the same thing.

Socialism does not work so stop voting for the progressive retards.

Consolidating power is a very dangerous problem and the government does not know or care what's best for the people.

Venezuela and Cuba are examples of how destructive socialism really is.

besnook Thu, 03/15/2018 - 13:23 Permalink

funny that i haven't seen a single article on whether gold or silver is being used as a medium of exchange in venezuela. does anyone know?

Easyp Thu, 03/15/2018 - 13:56 Permalink

Is this about Socialism or Culture?  Probably both and a very toxic mix it is.  Democracy not a Socialist Dictatorship was the way forward but they blew it.