The Economist reports:
VISITING a supermarket in Venezuela is like entering Monty Python’s cheese-shop sketch. “Do you have any milk?” The shop assistant shakes her head. Sugar? No. Coffee? No. Soap? No. Cornflour? No. Cooking oil? No. Do you in fact have any of the products that the government deems so essential that it fixes their prices at less than what it costs to make them? No.
This is inevitably happens with stupid price controls.
The Venezuelan government spends like Father Christmas after too much eggnog, subsidising everything from rural homes to rice. It cannot pay its bills, especially since the oil price collapsed, so it prints money.
Sounds like Green Party policy under Russel – subsidise everything and print money!
The IMF predicts that inflation will be 720% in Venezuela this year, a figure Zimbabwe hit in 2006. By 2008 Zimbabwe was racked by hyperinflation so crippling that beggars who were offered billion-Zimbabwe-dollar bills would frown and reject them (see chart).
I have a trillion dollar bill from Zimbabwe. It cost me US$1 and was over-priced.