One day after Nicolas Maduro won another six-year term as Venezuela's president in a vote that western countries denounced as illegitimate and which the opposition boycotted, President Donald Trump escalated economic pressure on the Latin American nation with an executive order prohibiting purchases of debts owed to the government, including to the state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, Bloomberg reported.
While both entities are now officially bankrupt, having failed to make several coupon and maturity payments in the recent past and triggering CDS, hardly leading to a burst in investors confidence even among those desperate to allocate "other people's money" into this particular hyperinflationary socialist paradise, the executive order - which covers all transactions on any debts owed to the Venezuelan government or state-owned enterprises including accounts receivable - will make funding of the Caracas regime by US-linked entities impossible.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Trump administration leakers - of which there are many - said the order was intended to restrict the Maduro regime’s ability to liquidate its assets and close off avenues for corruption. While that was not surprisingly, in a novel the prohibition on purchases of debts owed to Venezuela also explicitly targets working capital in the form of accounts receivable.
One administration official said the action was intended to choke off funding the Maduro regime has been raising by selling off money owed in future to the government and state-owned enterprises in exchange for immediate payment cash.
And while an official said such transactions were tantamount to mortgaging the future of Venezuela, what the leaker forgot to mention is that the only entities who would be willing to fund such receivable are China and Russia, neither of which would subject itself to US sanctions.
The order also prohibits the sale, transfer or pledging of collateral of any equity interest in which the Venezuelan government has a 50 percent or greater ownership interest.
What the order will achieve, is give China even greater control over financial and political events in Venezuela, while further pressuring PDVSA production, and leading to even lower Venezuela oil output...
... which in turn will send the price of oil to even higher highs, just in time for peak driving season, and assuring that the bulk of Trump's tax stimulus is spent on gasoline.