Economics: Money Printing (“Fiat Currency”) and Venezuelan Governance

Patricia Laya and Fabiola Zerpa:

Lost amid the economic chaos in Venezuela, the bolivar has actually stabilized somewhat.

In the six weeks since the initial plunge after the government simultaneously carried out a massive devaluation and redenomination of the currency, it has slid just 19 percent in the black market. That may not constitute stabilization in most foreign-exchange markets, but in Venezuela, where hyperinflation has been ravaging the economy for months on end, it’s the closest thing to normality seen in a while.

While far from a major policy victory and possibly only ephemeral, the bolivar’s relative stability is a rare feat for Venezuela and could even help slow the breakneck pace of hyperinflation, which is forecast to reach 1 million percent this year. President Nicolas Maduro devalued the bolivar by 95 percent last month in what was perceived as a tacit acceptance of the ubiquitous black-market exchange, where most Venezuelans acquire dollars.

Related: US Debt Clock and local taxpayer K-12 school district spending.