Sunday, November 27, 2016

Cash And Carry

How much can you carry in Caracas?
The currency has dropped dramatically in value as Venezuela’s oil-based economy has cratered and the government has frantically printed more money. Prices, meanwhile, are soaring. So Venezuelans must handle huge volumes of cash — so much that the bills don’t always fit in a standard wallet — with many people packing wads of currency in handbags, money belts or backpacks.

The owner of a tiny kiosk selling newspapers, cigarettes and snacks in one of Caracas’s nicer neighborhoods said that each evening he quietly stuffs a plastic bag full of the day’s earnings, around 100,000 bolivars (about $52) in notes of 10, 20, 50 and 100 bolivars. This is a country with one of the highest crime rates in the world, and carrying that much cash is dangerous. He said he doesn’t feel safe, despite having his own scooter rather than using public transport.

“All of Caracas is unsafe,” said the 42-year-old kiosk owner, who declined to give his name. Three years ago, the volume of cash he carried home after a long day of work was smaller, he said, “and so were the risks.” He said that his clients usually count out their notes before stepping out onto the street, since they are too scared to be seen holding money in public.
Socialists love to share the wealth, to the point where it becomes worthless...

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