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Venezuela MSM disinformation : Le Monde edition

by Laurent GUERBY Wed May 2nd, 2007 at 05:24:42 AM EST

Le Monde announces that Venezuela is leaving world bank and FMI.

No mention of the recent World Bank scandal.

But the best part is the last sentence of Le Monde article:

[...] Chavez a par ailleurs annoncé une augmentation de 20% du salaire minimum à 615 000 bolivares (210 euros), et une réduction, d'ici 2010, à 6 heures quotidiennes de la durée légale du travail. Des mesures qui paraissent irréalistes dans un pays dont l'économie est paralysée par une inflation de 12 % par an.

Translation of the bold part: "(Venezuela) economy is paralyzed by a 12% inflation".

Quality information from quality MSM?

Let's check some blogs.

From the diaries - whataboutbob

About the economy, let's see the investment per year in Venezuela, synthetized on the Oil Wars blog:

Paralyzed? You feel informed by Le Monde use of the word?

Who's to blame for the low investment in some years, Chavez or the opposition? Well Chavez of course. Why not?

But let's continue, after showing a paralysis, the evil inflation is the cause.

Again, let's leave MSM and let's go read again Oil Wars blog:

As Le Monde shows 12% is even lower than 2005 14%.

So average inflation before Chavez is around 50%, after Chavez takes office: 20%. It would be lower without the coup and strike of course, and clearly trending down.

Thanks to Le Monde for informing its readers on Venezuela, the MSM way.

Some paralysis!
by kellogg (kellogg[dot]david[at]gmail[dot]com) on Tue May 1st, 2007 at 12:17:47 PM EST
Poverty is down:

Consumption is also "paralyzed":

by Laurent GUERBY on Tue May 1st, 2007 at 12:55:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I'm with you.  I was trying to be sarcastic -- not successfully, clearly.  
by kellogg (kellogg[dot]david[at]gmail[dot]com) on Tue May 1st, 2007 at 01:12:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I got the sarcasm but pushed the wrong reply button to post the graphs :).
by Laurent GUERBY on Tue May 1st, 2007 at 01:17:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately Chavez has an abrasive personality, so none of that matters. We want Latin-American leaders we can play golf with.
by Trond Ove on Tue May 1st, 2007 at 12:21:14 PM EST
Especially if they play the part of the ball.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue May 1st, 2007 at 12:31:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 I have had many friends from Venezuela, and the more socially conscious have had the same type of personality when discussing the ills done to their country.
by zoe on Tue May 1st, 2007 at 02:55:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Welcome on board.

Are your friends from all sides (pro/anti/don't care Chavez)? What are their perception of the situation in Venezuela?

I have friends in Zürich, I hope the riots weren't that bad.

by Laurent GUERBY on Tue May 1st, 2007 at 03:48:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no, the riots weren't so bad.  at least not compared to Madrid or Berlin.  I don't think anyone was seriously injured.

As for the Venezuela attitudes, the Venezuelans I went to school with who were in the ruling class 20 years ago are now living in Miami and praying something happens to Chavez.  Like all ruling class people from any country, they felt entitled to the very good life.

by zoe on Wed May 2nd, 2007 at 09:22:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was satirizing western critisism of him, but it kind of fits with the little I have been exposed of internal critism of him too. It tends to be frightfully elitist. I wrote a bit about some of the more intelligent of it in this diary: http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2007/1/12/101035/390
by Trond Ove on Tue May 1st, 2007 at 07:42:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Venezuela leaving the World bank and the IMF may have some long-term ramifications. I certain the West/North are feeling a bit nervous about the possibilities...or will be...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Wed May 2nd, 2007 at 05:26:19 AM EST
The french economics newspaper "La Tribune" had an article on Venezuela and unlike Le Monde there was a whole paragraph on the delicate financial and political situation of FMI and WB. And no stupid mention of "inflation" and "paralysis".

So Le Monde and others are really running a cold-war era disinformation campaign on Venezuela.


by Laurent GUERBY on Wed May 2nd, 2007 at 06:57:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Crucial issue.
The IMF and the world bank are , as I am sure you know, really instruments of control, and not development mechanisms. They derive their power from the fact that they have the dough, and control who gets it.

Now, Venezuela has the dough, and plans a Bank of the South, which will theoretically operate on an economic model informed not by neolib BS but by a real process of social development rather than political control by economic blackmail.

Venezuela today does not need either of these trojan horses, and the region has a good spread of resources, the powerful asset of motivated, idealistic people, and a damned good, history-based story to inform their choices. We- The US and, to some extent, Europe- offered ourselves as the bogey man, and we acted the part. Witness the Le Monde travesty that began this discussion, and the recent New York Times editorial hit job as well. So now we own the part.
Will it work? Duuno, but here's the central risk, I think:

Can such an institution remain free of the power players of the "great Game" who have brought down most of the previous attempts to create development and a quality life in the region? These trolls infest the banking world like fleas on a dog, and they are mostly in the drivers seats. Wolfowitz, anyone? The Venezuelan money will draw them like a magnet.  

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed May 2nd, 2007 at 07:08:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We had a couple of hours in London a couple of years ago with Kazempour Ardebili  - the long-time Iranian OPEC rep -  re the "Iran Oil Bourse" project. He told us that he had been advocating for 20 years that OPEC should operate their own clearing bank and investment institution.

Always been vetoed though.

Banks - as credit intermediaries - are simply unnecessary. The International Clearing Union (with a "Bancor" Value Unit) advocated by Keynes at Bretton Woods will do the job without any super profits to Banks above reasonable operating costs and shared costs of defaults.

If Russia, Venezuela, Iran and a couple of other producers were to link up with China, Japan and a couple of other consumers, there wouldn't be much the US or anyone else could do to stop such a Clearing Union and an enrgy based "Petrodollar" value unit.

The latter would simply be the amount of lots of different types of energy a dollar would buy on the launch date.

From then on the Dollar and Petrodollar would diverge.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed May 2nd, 2007 at 03:16:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Macro situation is really strange. Emerging countries now have piles of reserve and their economies are doing quite well.

I was surprised there was a quite neutral and informative article on current negociation between foreign companies and Venezuela government on the ongoing nationalization today on WSJ (paper Europe edition). No evil calling, reasonable outcome predicted ...

I wonder if Jerome read it.

by Laurent GUERBY on Wed May 2nd, 2007 at 03:43:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OMG! These images are huge! How can we fix this, with non-editable comments and all?

Well, we can download the Image Fixer, which is a very simple script to find images wider than the window, and set their width to 90%...
To install, download the file to your computer. Then open it with Firefox ("File" - "Open File" == Ctrl-O) which will install it in the appropriate place.

After installing you will find the command "Fix images" under "Tools", and also on the right-click context menu.

(And, yeah, you'll have to run it every time you open or reload a page with large images. Cause I don't have the time to make a fancy version...)

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Wed May 2nd, 2007 at 06:42:21 AM EST
I can't edit my comments unfortunately.
by Laurent GUERBY on Wed May 2nd, 2007 at 06:54:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I know. That's why I am proposing this client side fix...
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Wed May 2nd, 2007 at 06:57:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Works great. Thanks.
by Torres on Wed May 2nd, 2007 at 07:11:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. Very nice. Thanks.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Thu May 3rd, 2007 at 02:12:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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