Updated 04:20 AM EST, Wed, Jan 20, 2021

Venezuela Default Worse than Argentina?

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Latin America has been facing a brutal economic crisis in the past few years. While many feared that Argentina's default is the biggest problem that needs to be addressed, there are other money watchers who think that Venezuela may be in an even deeper hole.

CNBC reported that it seems Venezuela, a country that has already endured almost three years of social and economic crises, may cost the Latin American economy more, as its defaults are feared to be worse than that of Argentina. With its triple-digit inflation and crude oil entrenched in a bad market, economic observers are preparing for the possibility of a debt default easily described as a calamity.

President Nicolas Marudo said last month that he's declating an "economic emergency" due to the political stalement in congress. Steve Hanke, a professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University, said that "Venezuela is in a death spiral," adding that without a proper change of government, the country's money -- bolivar -- will continue losing its value.

It has been noted by Forbes that domestically, Venezuela may be the first big country to fall, and an imminent economic collapse is expected. However, the situation in Venezuela was made worse by its political problems -- or the inability of the country to run an effective political system.

The outlet criticized how President Maduro dealt with the economic crisis, pointing out that instead of properly taxing citizens as a way of giving to the poor, he instead messed with the international market by flying in increasingly worthless bolivars, causing a massive inflation. 

At this point, as noted by the Financial Times, a debt default may be the best hope for the Latin American country. With the massive inflation and poor political leadership from the President, the best hope for Venezuelans may be for its external creditors to step in. Oil exports are currently the only source of money for the country, and it has collapsed from about $50 billion in 2009 to only about $30 billion last year, a contraction that led to shortages of daily essentials as well as medicines, and even basic food like bread and rice.

Still, Maduro hasn't given up on his country. He is still making it his priority to make payments on the sovereign debt, and minimizing on the source for imports. Forbes pointed that in order to make Venezuela a good country to invest in again, it is possible that they will do what Russia did to end their own socialist nightmare: abolishing all price controls and subsidies other than cash welfare to the poor, and remove all ownership and production constraints for a more stable country.

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