BCV: Who needs numbers when you have a well-dressed waitstaff?

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A falta de datos, buenos son esmóquines

Somewhere between not publishing official economic data and overseeing a banknote printing frenzy on steroids, Venezuela’s Central Bank (BCV) still finds time for the mundane.

According to this tweet from Bloomberg News correspondent Nathan Crooks, our maximum monetary authority just announced an open tender for the procurement of (and I’m not making this up) tuxedos for waiters.

As in, penguin suits for black-tie affairs. 

Interested parties can even attend a scheduled preparatory meeting in case they wish to discuss the finer points of our nations’s resource allocation for men’s evening wear.

The notion of prioritizing has reached a new low when the country’s Central Bank shows more concern for cocktail-planning policy than for monetary policy. (In a related story, the BCV will sponsor the production of “Suicide in Spring is Forbidden”, a play about the Spanish Civil War).

While the BCV has been too busy to do its job, other folks with more time on their hands have been coming up with alternative instruments to measure economic data like our inflation rate: There’s the  “arepa index” created by fellow blogger Miguel Octavio, and my personal favorite, the Indice de Pollo en Brasaor Roasted Chicken Indicator, which we have Luis Carlos Díaz to thank for.

No word yet on when BCV’s Chairman Nelson Merentes will roll out a Central Bank Catering division.

26 thoughts on “BCV: Who needs numbers when you have a well-dressed waitstaff?

  1. Did you see that the pollera across the street from Luis Carlos Díaz is not displaying its combo prices anymore? That is statistical blackout at its best.

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  2. While I eat more arepas than chicken, I did consider the chicken for my index, as well as Perros Calientes. I went with the arepa, because according to flimsy Government figures, 38% of the corn and 42% of the milk is imported, while half the chickens are imported. Thus, the Bs. 6.3 content, imported part of the arepa was smaller. I also thought the chicken you just broil and cut, while the corn and the milk need to be processed to make the final product and someone has to knead the dough and shape the arepas. Perhaps that is why the chicken is going up at a slower pace.

    So, now that you know the serious science behind it, Luis Carlos and I are thinking of making a combo and giving it away or selling it to the Central Bank. If we sell it, it will become secret, so I think it is better to give it away and have it in the public domain.

    Happy eating if you can afford it!

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  3. Sometimes I like to think of Caracas Chronicles as a kind of cheat-sheet for the historians of the future.

    Maybe it’s a dumb, self-indulgent fantasy, but I kinda like it.

    I imagine a bewildered historian in the year 2075 or so trying to write a History of the Chavez Era. I picture him absolutely bewildered by the huge explosion of information. Then I picture him coming across Caracas Chronicles and having an “ah ha!” moment. Thinking “Cripes, this is where all the good shit is!”

    Posts like this one are an important part of my stupid little self-indulgent fantasy. I really, really hope that this post gets a mention when the monetary history of the Chavez era comes to be written one day. Even if it’s many decades from now. Even if it’s after everyone reading this now is dead and forgotten.

    THIS licitacion and the sordid little tale it tells about the all-encompsing collapse in values and common sense of Late Chavismo… THIS ought never to be forgotten.

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    • I am not your fan but I think that this is a good post; I don’t think it tells about the total collapse in values but it is crazy enough to be able to describe by itself many of the problems the country is suffering. Thanks for picking up this valuable piece of information… it makes up for the not so good ones

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  4. Another indicator I like for measuring inflation is the price of a men’s haircut. I like it because the demand for haircuts is relatively inelastic, and only a small fraction of the cost is based on imported goods. The majority of the cost is labor and rent on a location. It is a service, instead of a commodity, so it is not subject to hoarding or smuggling. There are no components of the cost that are price controlled. Of course, the price of a haircut varies widely depending on the location, but if you track the cost at one location I think it provides a more realistic look at the actual inflation felt by everyone.

    Just got one today: Bs. 280 (about 40 cents at the Voldamort rate). 10 years ago, at the same location, a haircut cost the equivalent of $3.

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  5. Nothing too barbaric or excessively abnormal about this post.

    This is just a funny cut&paste job from from CC.

    There are dozens of such “licitaciones” on the Banco Corrupto de Kleptozuela.

    Wanna sell’em some shoes?

    http://www.bcv.org.ve/c1/pdf/comprasbcv2015.pdf

    What’s funny is the use of “SMOKING” on the illiterate headline..

    The levels of incompetence, galactic bureaucracy and above all, Mega-Supra-Ultimate Corruption of that “departamento de compras” is astonishing indeed.

    Such corruption, let it be noted, happens everywhere in the world, not just Guisozuela, except at different levels. I have participated in such public bids in several countries, including Miami’s own City Hall quite recently, and they also stink prufusely from a distance..

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  6. A “smoking” properly-attired waiter has been de riguer for some time for giving status to Ven. politico arribistas on-the-take–I once made a presentation to a prominent member-of-the board Adeco lawyer, attended by his office smoking-attired waiter, and, another time, to the board of Bariven, with a similarly-attired waiter.

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    • I don’t have the link right now, but dolar today beat gonorrea morons by months, publishing an article called “El cambiazo” or something like that.

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  7. For those brave patriots who are already preparing another “Carta abierta al TSJ” note that the BCV has not posted yet the programmed expenditures for 2016 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    As Venezuelan Citizens we can be proud that they did publish the 2015 list (no outcome, of course)

    “Programación Anual de Compras BCV: 2015” on their embarrassing site.

    It consists of Four Hundred Seventy Three (473) pages of proposed items for Theft last year, detailing anything from vacuum cleaner spare parts, shoes, clothing, to painting brushes, valves, fasteners, to Musical Instruments.

    Profit margin directly for the enchufados and “Gerentes de Robo” = At least 1000%, with 95% non-compliance and /or non delivery of said items, to be sure.

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  8. One sure way to know that an organization is becoming corrupt is the degree to which it stops doing most of its important contracting thru competitive bids and starts doing it by choosing its contractors by just pointing their finger .

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