Chavez Mafia Wars Chapter 3: BaNorte intervened

December 11, 2009

When Ricardo Fernandez Barrueco fell from grace three weeks ago, we were wondering what the reason was and whether this was a fight between groups or simply Chavez cleaning up the new wave bolibourgeois bankers. And on the third week of the Bolivarian Mafia Wars, Chavez shut down today BaNorte, the third bolibourgeois Chavista banking group. And while “liquidity” was cited as the reason for the intervention with closed doors, the truth is that BaNorte’s situation is not too different from the other two groups: Uncertain source of funds, sudden growth, large official deposits, new wave bankers who claim to be pro-Chavez.

Thus, only one banking group left and one has to wonder whether it will be taken over or not.

The problem is that there are after shocks to come from this financial earthquake, as the Government continues to say very litte about what is happening. Today for example, the only Government official who had been removed from his position, the Head of the Comision Nacional de Valores (Venezuela’s SEC equivalent), was actually arrested for his involvement with the intervened banks. What his participation in all this was is still unclear, but clearly the clean up is not over yet.

Whether Chavez had planned to clean up or not from the beginning is yet unknown. He may have decided to get rid of all his bolibourgeois bankers after the crisis grew beyond what he had expected. A full clean up of what his advisers had been telling him for months. But if that is the case, where will he stop? His Government has also intervened some insurance companies belonging to these banking groups, but nobody knows whether they are in good shape or not or if they were also looted.

Meanwhile, local market remain nervous. The swap rate went down at the beginning of the week only go to back up today. The Government claims it will reopen some of the intervened banks in ten days, but nobody seems to believe it. Thus, the money continues its flight to quality, whether the blue chip banks or hard currency as everyone awaits for the Government’s next step…

17 Responses to “Chavez Mafia Wars Chapter 3: BaNorte intervened”

  1. jose Says:

    Anybody knows if the Banco banorte will reopen??????????????????

  2. Robert Says:

    Can you join Second Life and not send any non-virtual money and get any benefit? And I thought the only way you could do more more than you can in real life is to leave real life? (expire from this earth)

    You are dead right: BsF are not traded on Forex. Chavez has a plan forward to bring Venezuela to first world status via OECD to make this happen. Only problem is his spelling. His spelling for OECD is ALBA.

    All in fun Roger.

  3. Roger Says:

    SL is free to join. In it you can do anything that you can do in real life and more. Point is it works with most social, economic and cultural models. Of course Fast Food and toilets have not done well!

    I did not see the BsF traded on forex. Unless you are one of the Chosen Ones, you have to pay a 200% commission to buy dollars! Or use the black market that extends into all sorts of schemes involving all sort of currencies traded many times over to get real money. This Sucre sounds like one more way. The question is for whom.

  4. Robert Says:

    Not to offend anyone but isn’t Second Life a Amway type scheme or is it more aptly akin to online gambling? Why not cut out the middleman and just do forex trading?

  5. Roger Says:

    Im not sure what they mean by virtual but the system exists. Second Life has its own money called the L$ that can be traded online . Smartmatic comes to mind for some reason. Though cash trades are cash trades, credit which is what most need, is very hard to do.

  6. Kepler Says:

    It is a nice idea, announced by the wrong people with the wrong countries and the wrong governments at the wrong time.
    The name also sucks. Venezuelans love to call everything after a couple of military men from the Independence war (but that is just a detail).

    The Euro is definitely worth it.
    Now I can go from Portugal to Finland using the same currency.
    Using US dollars in Europe would be a great thing…for the US, not for Europe.

  7. Robert Says:

    I am also baffled about how virtual commissions will go over……

  8. moctavio Says:

    I think they are going to use either Pay Pal or Pay Comrade, I am not sure

  9. Robert Says:

    I was living in Europe during the roll out of the ECR then Euro and one of my buddies asked “why does Europe need a common currency? They already have the dollar.” At that time and until today, there are not too many places in the world that will not accept dollars although I’m not so sure you can say the same for Euros. I still think the Euro was the right idea. The Sucre on the other hand………well I have to admit I have a bias against anything named by Chavez. And by the nature of “virtual” currency in the world of communism/socialism, I can only imagine this as a bartering instrument, similar to the local currencies chavez was promoting for within Venezuela.

  10. Thomas Mohr Says:

    Robert, the Sucre will more or (likely) less work like the ECU, the predecessor of the Euro,

    Whether this is good for a bunch of countries with such different economies or not is another question.

  11. Robert Says:

    OT2- Cuba and Venezuela announced additional 3 billion dollars in trade agreements. The news article does not mention if this is to be paid in sucres or not.

    This could warrant following just for the comic effect of the virtual barter system between and wihtin Alba countries. When the socialist dream come trues, Venezualan citizens can have debit card for sucres to be used at government run stores, restaurants, car dealers (Iranauto), etc. Castros will have finally succeeded in spreading his revolution.

  12. Robert Says:

    OT but related to banking in a way. Alba is going to begin using the “virtual” currency called sucre. They will not print or coin this currency but it will be used to assign value to trade within Alba to get away from using US dollar to value trade.

    Do you need banks for virtual currency? What do you want to bet that this virtual currency happens to be valued at 1 sucre equals one dollar or one euro? Or is it based on “one Vene built Iranian tractor is worth 2 ton of Nicaraguan bananas?”

  13. Gringo Says:

    “We’ve signed 264 contracts worth a total of $2.951 billion,” Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said in a televised speech, saying another 20 similar agreements would be inked later this month.

    From Thugo’s point of view, DGI is worth every penny. For what he gets out of DGI, Thugo is most likely correct. GWEH: is Thugo getting his money’s worth out of DGI?

  14. Susan Says:


    HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba and Venezuela signed cooperation deals worth nearly $3 billion on Saturday, underscoring Caracas’ role as the communist-run island’s closest political and commercial ally.


    Venezuela, an OPEC member, has become a vital source of energy and trade for Cuba in recent years and it exports 98,000 barrels of crude a day to the cash-strapped Caribbean nation on favorable financing terms.

    “We’ve signed 264 contracts worth a total of $2.951 billion,” Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said in a televised speech, saying another 20 similar agreements would be inked later this month.

    The cooperation deals relate to health, fishing, education and sports projects and the countries will also form at least seven joint state-run companies in the sugar, aluminum, transport and farming industries.

    Cuba, which is heavily dependent on imports of fuel and food, pays part of its Venezuelan oil bill with the services of 40,000 doctors and other professionals.

    Chavez has joined Cuba in promoting leftist revolution as an alternative to U.S. free-market trade proposals and the two nations are at the heart of the ALBA alliance, which aims to promote cooperation among leftist regional governments.

    Chavez and Raul Castro, who took over the presidency from his ailing brother Fidel last year, will be joined on Sunday by other members of the ALBA group, including Bolivian President Evo Morales.

    Trade between Cuba and Venezuela reached $5.28 billion last year, compared with $945 million in 2003, according to statistics from the Cuban government.

    (Reporting by Rosa Tania Valdes and Helen Popper; editing by Todd Eastham)

  15. moctavio Says:

    Small bank, know little about it, run by a former Treasurer of Banesco

  16. mediocriollo Says:


    What do you know about a bank called Banco Activo? Is it solid and of good reputation?
    A company I work with has been approached by them

  17. Speed Gibson Says:

    the future collapse of Venz was announced today

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