Archive for March, 2010

Question of the day?

March 21, 2010

(What are you searching for?)

The question of the day is:

And if we catch Chavez lying in his blog, what happens?


Dumb threats and more important things to do

March 21, 2010

Thank you to all my readers who either wrote in the comments or an email to warn me about what a local rag had written about supposedly “US authorities investigating the violation of US laws for maintaining a campaign against the financial system in Venezuela” or something like that, which accused three blogs/webpages, including this one. This is the second time in a month that two similar publications publish such rubbish, which leads me to be believe it is either paid or planted.

While I despise the lack of ethics of these two rags and their reporters, I can not take it seriously, like some readers have suggested. Obviously, the US is not doing what the article says, but more importantly I have not done what it says. My track record is here in my blog. Everyone can see that I began writing about structured notes in 2008 and while the Chavez Government ordered banks to get rid of them, in the end it did not enforce its decision and allowed the notes to morph into a different animal. It was the Chavez Government that named the banks and those that got rid of them for real are still functioning, those that began “triangulating” with brokers and related companies to cover up their holes (some of which were new to the list) have been intervened.

Moreover, what I warned about was the panic created by shutting down banks that had been intervened. I said that was the wrong strategy. I was right, within a week the Government was announcing the reopening of the banks, even if it failed to recapitalize them. This means it is just pumping money into them.But reopening them calmed people down, even if all Venezuelans now have to pay for the incompetence and irresponsibility of the Chavez administration.

In addition I have not mentioned names at any point. In fact, the stupidity of the post in these rags is that Hugo Chavez on his program Alo Presidente was probably the person that did the most to unnerve depositors. After shutting down the first few banks, Chavez said on national TV that he “knew there were more banks in trouble” and he was “following them” going as far as practically naming the owner of one bank and mentioning a related business this person owns.

And you definitely can’t compare Chavez’ audience to mine. So, I prefer to spend my time reading in the New York Times about our now famous Bipolar Capybara, worry about the fact that 500,000 new Venezuelans are born every year and that the Government uses 48% of the country’s electricity. I can also spend more time taking pictures of my orchids for my orchid blog like the one above, which lately I have neglected. Those are certainly a better use of my time that suing these rags for defamation or asking that my reply to them be published.

As  have said before, I will continue blogging as long as I can, I am not a brave or daring person, if I ever feel truly threatened, I will see what I will do.

It just ain’t worth it!

P.S.: Coincidentally I was away this weekend without internet or computer, thus I was able to read the comments Friday morning as I left, but not write this post until tonight. Thanks to all that sent messages again!

Chavez Government: If you can’t handle it, create another layer of Bureaucracy

March 18, 2010

(The Destructive Matrix)

When Hugo Chavez was elected in 1998, one of his campaign themes was how he was going to reduce the size of the state, get rid of Ministries, airplanes and bureaucrats. He has don exactly the opposite. While he initially reduced the number of Ministries, by now there are more of them than in the country’s history, almost double the number of public employees and the number of public institutions has multiplied without control.

But what has been most amazing, has been how Chavez has tried fixing problems by creating new layers upon layers of bureaucrats in the belief that this will somehow fix problems. Case in point is the beleaguered electric system, where Chavez had CADAFE coordinating policy, created CORPOELEC, a whole new company on top of it and later created the Ministry for Electricity. Thus you have three layers of decision makers before you get to where the action is. Add to this that Chavez nationalized the private electric sector, held rates constant and you get an idea why the problems are so severe.

This also reflects how the Government does not admit that they don’t do things right.

So, after the financial crisis, which was due to lax supervision and the abuses of a bunch of members of Chavez’ Bolibouregois, the first step should be to professionalize and strengthen supervision.

But not for Chavismo. Without studies of any kind or even consulting with those affected, the glorious Venezuelan National Assembly approved this week a new regulatory body which will oversee the three components of the financial system: Banks, brokers and insurance companies. Thus,you create another layer on top of a system that showed that did not work well, but if the three regulatory bodies underneath remain filled with crooks, people without experience or no clue about what they are doing, this will change absolutely nothing.

But since they were at it, they went even further and decided to completely dislocate the whole financial system by introducing sweeping changes in regulation which may sound fine at first sight, but will not be if good regulation is not in place.

The Bill you see, separates the three businesses from now on. Banks will not be able to own insurance companies or securities brokers and vice-versa, as the three sectors will be obligated to work completely independent of each other. That is, now cross-ownership, no co-branding, no cross-managing, no connection, personal or institutionally among the three sectors of finance.

In a well regulated world, these changes may seem to be ideal and reasonable. But in a system still reeling from the financial crisis, it may be asking for trouble.

First of all, you are going to force some of the best run and sound banks to get rid of their insurance arms and to get out of the securities business. For most banks, getting rid of the securities business implies shutting it down: They exist to provide the service to the bank’s clients and departments. Without the affiliation with the bank, its distribution network, its name, they are worth very little, if anything.

The insurance arms are worth something, but when you are obligated to sell them, you will not get a good price. And who will be the buyers? Certainly there will not be high quality buyers for the many insurance companies owned by the Venezuelan banking system.

And you are forcing these same banks to get rid of their securities business and leave it to the brokerage sector, which has recently been battered by the crisis as well as the elimination of the “Mutuos” one of their top two products.

Because in the end, banks did not fail because they used their brokers illegally. Banks failed because they used other brokers unrelated to them to lend to their own brokers, but in some cases simply used companies owned by the banks owners. So, in the end, the financial engineering that went on, originated on the lack of supervision and not in the structure of the system or its regulations. As an example, the two regulators of the securities industry named by Chavez until the crisis are a) In jail, b) being sought by Interpol for their crimes related to the financial crisis. These were people who had no connection, knowledge and/or experience with the securities business prior to being named to their positions.

Thus, all of this change for the sake of change will do little to correct the problems unless the four regulatory bodies, the insurance, banking and securities regulator, plus the new and improved Super Regulator are run by professionally qualified people and not by political and loyal appointees with no clue, track record or professional experience in the area.

Thus, the financial system will be shaken up by all this, many institutions will be in a holding pattern until the new rules are known and regulation will not improve because there is a new regulator on top of the old one. But Chavismo is like that, they believe anyone can do a job, anyone can improvise and it is always someone else’s fault.

And if it does not work, add another layer, because this time, it is surely going to work. Yeah, sure!

Some Disclaimers in the face of the Assembly’s investigation of “administrators” of webpages

March 16, 2010

(The regime wants to monopolize falsehood)

Tonight that illustrious (but not illustrated) body, the Venezuelan National Assembly (formerly known as Congress, which never imagined we would remember fondly) decided to create a commission to investigate the “administrators” of webpages, based on the fact that Article 58 of the Venezuelan Constitution guarantees free speech, but they seem to like more Article 108, which says media should contribute to citizens education and public peace.

While I know it is presumptuos of me to pretend that I will be part of the investigation, since I am not a “portal”, nor do I have the ranking of ND or Noticias24, nor the humor of the Chiguire, I would like to emphasize the following points:

1) I do not administer this page. I write it. I allow free comments, as long as people don’t try to ignore what is said in it, come to fill my bandwidth or those who try to “outblog” me by writing comments that are longer than the post. I have banned one person (SteveH) and sometimes have erased  comments for a variety of reasons described here, but these incidents have been quite rare. I even allow lies (they can be shot down easily) and adoration of Chavez to be expressed, but I also call a troll a troll when it needs be.

2) Since my webpage is in English (even if it has a sister Spanish page, which contains 20% of the same content in Spanish and nobody seems to care for or even read it) it was not my aim to comply with Article 108 of the Venezuelan Constitution to “contribuir a la formacion ciudadana” (contribute to educate the citizens). You see, when I began this blog, I was trying to educate the citizens of other countries about the fake Chavez robolution, which at the time it still began with rev-. In fact, I sort of like Article 58 much more, because it is a right for all Venezuelans., while Art. 108 seems narrower and less important as it applies to the “media”, whatever it may be. As Chavez would say, Article 58 belongs to the “pueblo”, the “people”, Art. 108 seems more for the oligarchs, the “media” of any sort, or side. But what do I know.

3) Before the Assembly begins investigating I would like it to clarify whether if someone reproduces a Government lie, such as “It is not my fault if there is an electric problem’ or “the swap rate is going to Bs. 4.3per $” or reproduces a list that promotes hate like the Chavez/Tascon list, whether it will be the source that will be charged or those putting it up in Internet. This would be very important going forward, particular for those that use Twitter and hashtags (Chavistas: Look it up!), as we could create hashtags such as “Tasconslistpromoteshate or #ifnotchavezfaultwhoseisit?

4) Finally, I inform my readers that tonight I will proceed to erase all of the IP numbers and emails of everyone that has ever posted a comment in my blog. If you did not know it, every time you post a comment, your data is recorded. Given this threat to your privacy and your right to say what you want, I will help protect your rights as best as I can. (Including those that support the Dictator). I hate to see that database go…

Thanks for reading…

Hugo Chavez, ETA and the FARC

March 15, 2010

Today, Judge Eloy Velasco, from the Spanish Audiencia Nacional, the same one that ordered the detention of Pinochet, ordered the detention of 12 presumed members of Basque terrorist organization ETA and Colombian terrorist organization FARC. Among them is Arturo Cubillas Fontan, who is in charge of the Security Department of the Venezuelan Land Ministry, a Ministry presided until very recently by Venezuela’ current Vice-President Elias Jaua. Curiously, Spanish newspaper ABC also presented today an accusation that another member of ETA, Jose Antonio Egido works for the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry, showing that Chavez’ support and collaboration with ETA is more than just coincidental.

Because the accusation against Cubillas is quite clear: He is being accused of training FARC guerillas with explosives. Such training took place in the border between Colombia and Venezuela and Cubillas showed up accompanied by at least one Venezuelan military officer AND in a Venezuelan military vehicle.

Of course, the reaction by Chavez’ Government, the same one that investigates the slightest whisper by someone from the opposition on TV which could be construed as conspiring against the Government, wraps itself around the Venezuelan flag, cries sovereignty issues, but fails to look into the accusation, calling it garbage and the like. Recall the same thing happened with another “friendly” Government in the case of the Maletagate affair, where not one of those involved was ever investigated in Venezuela, despite clear proof that it went all the way to the top.

And as events develop, we get visits from the usual PDF’s, scandalized that we could possibly believe these accusations from the Spanish Court, as if it did not have a track record that proves the accusations.

Because while it may be now that a Court of the world does not need to suck up to Chavez, his cronies and his wealth, anyone reading the many Venezuelan blogs does not need the Audiencia Nacional’s help to know that Chavez was and is in cahoots with the ETA and the FARC.

The FARC in particular has an ample and proven track record with Hugo Chavez. And while I will become repetitive, because this same evidence has been used before, I would like to show all of this evidence in its splendor

For example, wasn’t it Hugo Chavez that said that the FARC were not terrorists, but armies that needed to be recognized?

And not once, but twice:

And wasn’t it Chavez that asked for a minute of silence on National TV in memory of Raul Reyes, the same terrorist who visited the Miraflores Presidential Palace (Chavez later claimed he did this at the request of Colombia’s President Pastrana, who denied it) for reasons never revealed, meeting with Venezuela’s Vice-President?

And how about Chavez’ buddy Piedad Cordoba with Reyes in a video that some claim was partly taped in Venezuela, here defended by Chavez:

Or how about this professionally taped video on the death of FARC terrorist Marulanda, which was apparently made by Chavez’ international propaganda TV station Telesur:

Or how about the Venezuelan Minister telling the FARC  whom he called “comrades” and who was told by the guerrilla member “We are moving forward”, Chacin agreeing with her.

Need I show more? How many pictures of FARC leader Ivan Marquez at the Presidential Palace can you find in the Internet? Should we believe Chavez, his cronies or the same Audiencia Nacional that has gone after terrorists, Pinochet and acted against them?

Of course, it may have to go after Chavez in the end. Is that what he is afraid of?

Filho de Puta by Teodoro Petkoff

March 15, 2010

Filho de puta by Teodoro Petkoff in Tal Cual

When Lula won the election in Brazil there was a great stop book with the title O Filho do Brasil, which means son of Brazil. More recently, and based on that book, there was a movie with the same title and the same theme: the career of the kid from the Brazilian Northeast, who from the misery became the president of his country, through years of hard struggle and sacrifice especially during the time of military dictatorships.

But when this amateur reporter hears him these days philosophizing about “justice” on Cuban and Cuban political prisoners, what I feel like telling him, is that he is indeed, a filho de puta (a son of a bitch). I care little that he has had a great presidency, his popularity is enormous, which has combined the macroeconomic sense Cardoso with his own social sensitivity, to significantly improve the plight of their poorer compatriots.

I give a damn that he is part of a modern left, very different from this scam, supposedly leftist, that Chacumbele has installed here.

What he said about political prisoners in Cuba, comparing them with ordinary criminals, prisoners in Brazilian jails, is despicable and inexcusable, it makes me lose all the respect I had for him. You can share or not the ultimate resort of a hunger strike, but what can not be done and Lula did, is to trash the immense sacrifice of those who, faced with a dictatorship like Cuba, almost resort to suicide to assert their rights. Because a hunger strike in Cuba is to face the real danger of a brave death. It’s like having done a hunger strike in Hitler’s time. If Lula does not have the moral and political courage to claim a civilized and humane behavior of the Cuban government, which would be appropriate, as a decent and self- respected left should, he could have at least had the shame of staying silent.

Some thoughts on the Venezuelan National Assembly elections in September

March 14, 2010

I have written very little about the upcoming National Assembly elections. There are a number of reasons for this. While I do support whatever slate comes out of the “Mesa de Unidad” process and fortunately in my district candidates will be elected in a primary, it does not mean that it gets me very excited.

I know the opposition is so heterogeneous that it is not easy to get it to agree on everything, but at the same time, except for the fact that it is a lot more democratic than the non-democratic Government that presides over Venezuela, there are few parties there that are to my liking. If any.

I just know that the opposition candidates are better prepared and qualified than those ready to be anointed by Hugo Chavez as his deaf-dumb Deputies. But as you all know, I am in full agreement with Leopoldo Lopez in that ALL candidates should have been chosen in a primary. I just don’t like the “cappuccino” politicians that have been chosen, just because…even if they will be orders of magnitude better than the alternative.

I would have really liked to hear some nutty opposition candidate campaigning on the back of the proposal to eliminate the Venezuela’s military, double the education budget and a plan to provide real, good health care for all.  We need new and real ideas, not to out-Chavez Hugo.

Then there is the question of how much we should get in September. I really would hate for the opposition to win. And it is irresponsible to sell the concept that we are likely to win. While it is true that between now and September the opposition will gain even further, it is not and easy battle not only because of the way the electoral districts have been redesigned, but because the Government will have more resources. Thus, to get a majority, the opposition may need to win in 55-60% of all the votes.

But I personally don’t think we want to win.

First of all, if the opposition wins, Chavez will spend the next three years blaming the opposition fro not being able to deal and handle the crisis that is already here. I have yet to meet a single economist that thinks the Venezuelan economy will grow in the next three years unless oil goes above US$ 100, which seems unlikely.

But more importantly, I think that an opposition with between 40% and 50% of all the Deputies will make life Hell for an autocrat that is not used to even talking to his own people. Seventy opposition Deputies are going to make life very difficult for Hugo, they will be interviewed going in ad out of the Congress building, they will have the right to speak, they will question and denounce. Not only is Chavismo not used to this, but things are such a mess that they will be unable to defend much.

And then there is the ultimate reason while we don’t want to have a majority. Chavez can always make the National Assembly irrelevant by bypassing it and leaning on his parallel structures to channel money to the communal power, making the National Assembly simply irrelevant.

Just some thoughts for all those asking what I think: Let’s have a plural National Assembly, let Chavistas cook themselves in their own salsa between 2010 and 2012 and let the opposition make lots of noise in the process. Who knows, we may even have a new leader emerge from all this. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves of what we can do and expect to do.

Venezuela’s Chavez: Internet should be regulated

March 14, 2010

I don’t think I need to comment much on this Associated Press report, it says it all, coming soon to a website near you:

Venezuela’s Chavez: Internet should be regulated

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called for regulation of the Internet on Saturday while demanding authorities crack down on a critical news Web site that he accused of spreading false information.

In a televised speech, Chavez said: “The Internet can’t be something free where anything can be done and said. No, every country has to impose its rules and regulations,” Chavez said.

He singled out the Venezuelan news site Noticiero Digital, saying it had posted false information that some of his close allies had been killed.

Chavez called for Venezuela’s attorney general to take action immediately against the Web site. “This is a crime,” he said of the site’s reports.

There was no immediate reaction from the Web site, which is a popular outlet for critical news and commentary in Venezuela.

Chavez has regularly clashed with critical broadcasters and newspapers. One anti-Chavez channel, Radio Caracas Television, was forced to move to cable in 2007 after the president refused to renew its license. In January, cable and satellite TV providers also stopped transmitting that channel under government orders after it defied regulations requiring it to televise some of Chavez’s speeches.

Referring to satellite TV channels, Chavez said, “It can’t be that they transmit whatever they want poisoning the minds of many people — regulation, regulation, the laws!”

The last anti-Chavez channel on the open airwaves, Globovision, faces multiple investigations by government regulators for alleged violations of broadcast regulations.

Chavez called for authorities to take action against Globovision, saying one recent panelist on the channel “has the nerve to say that Chavez, the president of this country, supports drug trafficking and also has the nerve to say there is evidence that here in Venezuela … a bunch of courses have been given to terrorists from ETA and the FARC.”

“That’s very serious. That can’t be permitted,” Chavez said. “I can’t put anyone in jail. There are the branches of government that should act, and the people themselves have to act.”

The interview that Chavez mentioned came during tensions between Spain and Venezuela after a Spanish judge said he has evidence of Venezuelan government links to the Basque separatist group ETA and the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC — both of which are classified as terrorist organizations by the European Union and the United States.

Chavez’s government testily denied having links to the two groups, and the two countries have since tried to ease tensions with a joint statement pledging to work together against ETA.

The world without guilt of Venezuelan Minister Jorge Giordani

March 12, 2010

While I had always believed that Minister of Finance and Planning Jorge Giordani was quite ignorant, I have never believed he was intellectually dishonest…

Until today.

For eleven years, Giordani has been in and out of the Chavez Government spending eight of the eleven years at the Ministry of Planning (As Minister!). From there, he did things like cancel the hydroelectric power plants of the Alto Caroni, because ideologically he was against them. But he not only failed to replace them, but he made no long term plan for the electric sector and managed to get rid of those that did that work well in Venezuela.

Giordani, en Electrical Engineer by training in his Bachelors degree, later got a Ph.D. in Planning, where he concentrated in Urban Planning, not in Economics, like many think he did and he began working on the Orinoco-Apure axis concept, a harebrained idea by which the population of Venezuela would be moved to the banks of the Orinoco river, because the water is there. Giordani clearly never has lived in the heat of those same banks, where 35-40C is a normal temperature. When he became Minister of Planning in 1998, the Government assigned a billion dollar budget to that project, but somehow we never heard about that anymore. Wasted? Down the drain? Robbed? We have no idea. Money that could ahve been used in improving the lot of many Venezuelans was thrown down the Orinoco drain.

Giordani also spent the first three years of the Chavez Government gloating over the savings in the macroeconomic savings fund FIEM,  until his buddy Merentes, then Minister of Finance, spent it all in six months(nobody has ever figured out what he spent it on) and the maxi devaluation of February 2002 (well before the April 2002 events) took place.

Throughout it all, Giordani has maintained an image of being honest, both materially and intellectually, even if somewhat limited in his ideas and conceptions about the world. And of course, he has never accepted any criticism, he lives in a world without guilt.

This image was valid until today, in my own opinion. Let me explain…

Because today, Giordani either showed how ignorant he is or what a remarkable liar he is (or both) when he said that the “mutuos” created an inflationary “avalanche” in 2007 and 2008.

Jeez, recall that the mutuos were eliminated at the end of January, when it was discovered that the “bolibourgeois” bankers had used “Mutuos” to rip-off bank depositors. Mutuos were a sort of repo, where brokers could received deposits from the public, in exchange for a yield and the re-lending of the security to the broker, who could lend it back to another investor. In this way some brokers became like small banks, lending 15-30 times their equity. Then the bolibourgeois financeers discovered that they could use them to buy banks with the depositors money and the ignorance and lack of supervision led to the failure of many banks and later many brokers who were intervened by the Government’s Comisión Nacional de Valores.

Of course, through all this, the regulators were nowhere to be seen, as they seemed to be concerned with enriching themselves rather than with regulating. In fact, of the three heads of the Comision Nacional de Valores during Chavez, one is in jail, another is being looked for by Interpol and the third one was in the Board of one of the brokers intervened! That is an incredible indictment of the Government, if there ever will be one.

And whose fault was all this? Nobody’s apparently…

Because today, Giordani dared to suggest that it was the Mutuos that created this “avalanche” of inflation, due to speculation with them in 2007 and 2008 (Why not in 2009?). And, oh yeah! now that the mutuos are over, things should get better. Sure Jorge! Tell me a story about Buck Rogers now!

Where do I start? Mutuos were never more than 5-6% of all of the monetary liquidity in the country (M2). So, how could it possibly be that such a small amount of money could create the “speculation” required to yield a 30% level of inflation for the whole country?

It is simply impossible, which Giordani should either know, and if he doesn’t, he is quite ignorant, and if he does know it, he is lying through his teeth. But he lives in his peculiar world, where he is never responsible for his decisions.

But whether it is one (ignorance) or the other (lying) or a combination or both, it is simply remarkable that a member of the country’s Cabinet, who has been on the Board of the Central Bank (now illegally holding that post, by the way) for practically ten of the eleven years of the Chavez administration, that he would try to skirt his own personal responsibility in the 700% inflation since Chavez took over the Presidency of this poor (in the Biblical sense) country.

Giordani’s whole press conference, curiously available only to pro-Government reporters, has no logic or substance, other than, as usual in this irresponsible Government, to blame others for their ignorance and incompetence.

Because when Hugo Chavez became President, monetary liquidity was about Bs. 10 billion and international reserves were about US$ 15 billion. That is, there were about Bs. 0.75 in circulation for each US$ in international reserves. The free exchange rate was about Bs. 0.600 per US$.

Today, eleven years after, international reserves stand at US$ 30 billion, only double that of 1998 thanks to the biggest oil boom in history. But monetary liquidity (M2) stands today at Bs. 235 billion, a full 23 (twenty three) times higher than in 1998. (Yes!, 2,300% higher, veintre tres veces más!)

Who printed all those Bolivar bills?

Giordani was present practically all of the time at the Central Bank. Nobody else was as responsible for this.

Well, reserves double, but Bolivars go up by  a factor of 23, what do you get?

Easy, we now have Bs. 7.83 for each US$ in international reserves. And thus, we have lots of inflation, lots more Bs. chasing the same goods, the country is less productive today than it was then.

And where is the parallel swap rate?

At Bs. 6.9 per US$

Funny, in 1998, the exchange rate was Bs. o.6 in practice versus Bs. 0.75 “mathematically” or a ratio of 0.8 between the two.

Today, eleven years later and after so much printing the ratio is Bs. 6.9 in pratice versus Bs. 7.85 “mathematically”, which gives you 0.88, not that different given that the swap market fluctuates so much.

But Giordani blames the “mutuos” rather than trying to find the irresponsible monetary policy he has presided over in the last 11 years.

Ignorance, dishonesty or both?

You be the judge

An update on what is happening at Guri dam

March 11, 2010

Well, I have good news and bad news. The good news, is that the model that I presented the other day is doing ok so far, it was predicting for yesterday a height of the water level at Guri dam of 253.25 meters and the reported level in the Opsis website is 253.16 meters. This is not bad, given that I used data up to February 15th., thus, after 14 days, the error is only 9 centimeters, which tracks the model quite well. Cross your fingers.

Except the bad news is that this is more complicated that it may have seemed at first sight.

First of all, it has been raining! That is definitely good news. Here is a plot of the water flow into the Guri dam:

as you can see, the flow almost doubled after February 25th. as the rain brought in more water for a few days, going from around 400 cubic meters per sec. to 800. Then the flow dropped again to around 600 m^3/sec. and on March 8th. it rained again and water inflows levels are around 700 m^3/sec.

The bad news is, that despite the fact that water inflows are higher than in all of February, the water level is still dropping, as seen below in the the plot of the Height above sea level of the water:

As can be seen, the water level keeps dropping. We have had more rain and more water, but the rate at which the level has been dropping seems to be continuing.

How come?

Easy, as the water into the dam has increased, the flow out through the turbines that produces the electricity has also been increased as can be seen in the next chart:

As you can see, as the rain has provided more water, the dam has been used more and the flow out has increased. In fact, it seems to be increasing daily as if the people running it are controlling it accordingly.

This implies, that despite the rain the daily drop in height has not slowed down, in fact, it has increased:

almost reaching 20 centimeters daily.

Thus, I am not sure why it is dropping faster, it would seem as if more water is being allowed to flow to produce more electricity, but the rate of increase in the flow out does not seem to be as large as to justify the faster drop in the height. It may be that because it is much hotter and there is a less surface area to the lake, there is much more evaporation or the shape is playing a role.

Comments are welcome, particularly by the experts, who may enlighten us on dam management!