March 29, 2009

GOOD PLACE FOR THE UR'S FIRST REGIME CHANGE:

U.S. Seizure Slams Market for Dollars in Venezuela (JOHN LYONS and JOSE DE CORDOBA, 3/29/09, WSJ)

Venezuela's economically crucial black market for dollars was all but frozen Friday following the money-laundering arrest of an owner of a small Florida financial firm, adding to tensions between the U.S. and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

The arrest has reverberated through the Latin American country because the firm, Rosemont Finance Corp., serves as a key U.S. clearing house for dozens of black-market brokerages -- trading houses that exploit loopholes to sell dollars despite an official Venezuelan ban on private firms buying and selling currency at unofficial rates. The federal case has ensnared millions of dollars from these trades and the brokerages that relied on Rosemont.

The black market is a crucial cog in the nation's financial system and counts giants such as state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA among its key players. If the market remains shut down for long, it could add to problems in Venezuela's increasingly chaotic economy. Venezuela, the fourth-largest supplier of oil to the U.S., has already been hurt by the decline in crude prices, rampant corruption and overspending on social programs.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 29, 2009 6:28 PM
blog comments powered by Disqus
« THE ROAD TO KANDAHAR IS PAVED WITH SKULLS: | Main | DON'T MISTAKE OUR INCOMPETENCE...: »