Archive for May 15th, 2007

Lies, tobacco and moronic revolutionary ideas

May 15, 2007

Today all of the local media reported
that the Minister of Health had said that the Government was going to propose a
Bill within the Enabling Law, which would “progressively prohibit the
production of tobacco”. Today, the Minister came out on TV saying he was quoted
“out of context” and that as Minister of Health he did not even have to deal
with such a proposal.

Well, this may be true, but he was not quoted out of context
as his words were part of an interview in union radio, where not only he was
not quoted out of context, but the Minister actually said one of the most
stupid things I have ever heard when he stated “Anyone that wants to smoke
would have to impost cigarettes”. He followed this by talking about the
consequences of smoking, but obviously his idea cannot be more moronic, as
“imported” cigarettes cause as much cancer as local ones, and banning local
production destroys jobs.

While the Ministers goal of reducing cancer are quote
commendable and he has actually done a few things about it, he clearly caught
in the intensity of the moment and his revolutionary spirit goy carried away.
But then, he made a fool of himself saying he was taking out of context, as his
words were carefully recorded by union radio.

But you know the revolution, they think that they can lie
themselves out of any situation, no matter how many times they have said it. In
fact, the Minister was trying to be so candid and amiable during his interview
that he actually said that he had never “kissed anyone that smoked”. I guess
they must not have been that attractive, he could have always convinced them of
quitting smoking afterwards, no?

A Picture is worth 10,000 words #28: Liquidity and International Reserves send ominous signals

May 15, 2007

And our illustrious and rarely seen Minister of Planning came out today to tell us about the 8% growth in the first quarter. Of course, he said nothing abour the 47% drop in the current account surplus, or the US$ 8 billion deficit in the capital acount, or the contraction in oil GDP. More ominously, he was Minister of Planning the last time liquidity and reserves began looking like this, which led to a maxi devaluation in 2002:

On the left, you can see that ominously, international reserves have dropped significantly and there is more to come, while on the right you can see that monetary liquidity has stabilized due mostly to the issuance of debt. Minister Cabezas says reserves will be back up to US$ 30 billion by the end of the year, which is possible, but liquidity is likely to be up by at least 40% by then, igniting the fuse for a big devaluation, just like in 2002.