You had to laugh last night as Hugo Chavez provided via telephone his evidence that Venezuela was “shielded” from the crisis in Europe and the US:
“All of the world stock markets went up two days ago and Venezuela’s was up”
Never mind that this is the same stock market he killed over the years, to finally give it the kiss of death last year.
But more importantly, let’s look at the numbers:
If Chavez was talking about Monday, the day markets around the world dropped sharply, a total of 13,269 shares were traded that day in the Caracas Stock Market. The leading stock? Dominguez y Cia. which traded a whopping 10,919 shares at Bs. 5 each or Bs. 54,595, which at the official rate of Bs. 4.3 represents all of US$ 12,696. To put it in perspective that is 2.5 10^-6 times the GDP of Venezuela. Big Deal!
If he was talking about Tuesday (stocks went up around the world that day, I don’t think he was) that day the leading stock in the Caracas Stock Exchange was Government controlled Electricidad de Caracas, which had 100,000 shares traded at Bs. 0.18 per share for a grand total of Bs. 18,000 or US$ 4,186 or 8.37 10^-7 times the country’s GDP. Irrelevant!
Hopefully, nobody will tell Chavez that the Caracas Stock Market has seen increased activity in the last two months, it has gone from about US$ 2 million to US$ 3 million a month in volume.
Some people are betting small amounts that Chavez will not be around in a year or two, the stock market will be revived and the local shares, which have been languishing, will soar.