May 19, 2016

Venezuela, and the world, is in need of a clear definition of what are odious credits and odious borrowings.

Sir, you write “China, which has loaned Caracas more than $65bn in return for oil deliveries, potentially has a big role to play. Having extended some of these loans’ maturities, officials in Beijing said that they hoped “Venezuela can properly handle” its current situation” “The ice finally begins to crack in Venezuela” May 19.

For me there are odious credits and odious borrowings, and you can bet Britain would never ever, or at least not currently, be allowed to take on public debt in such a non-transparent way, as when China lent money to the 21st Century Socialism.

You write: “A lack of basic goods and medicine has led to protests and lootings. Shortages of foreign currency, prioritised to pay overseas debts, have forced a 40 per cent drop in imports in the past year”

Who are these powerful foreign creditors that force the government to prioritize paying debt over securing food and medicine to its people? Could they be the same vagabonds that have ruined the country and are now set on to re-ruin it?

Should the creditors and or their advisors, knowing what the government was doing, have lent to Venezuela only because the risk premiums were attractive? And if so, should they have a right to be repaid?

I am not by far implying that something similar was the case in Venezuela, but, only to make the point, let me ask: Should one financing the cremation ovens of Auschwitz have a right to be repaid?

In the world there is much need for a sovereign debt restructuring mechanism but, if that is going to make us citizens any good, before entering in the notion of odious debts, it must clearly define what is odious credits and odious borrowings.

By the way, if such a definition had existed, and could have applied to odious mortgages such as those that ended up in AAA rated securities, then you might have saved yourself from the 2007-08 crisis.

PS. Are those recommending investors to lend to a country that has made no merits to receive credit, only because the rewards are high, not de facto pimping a country?

PS. Any government having to pay 3% more for public debt than the one paying the least, should not have right to contract debt.

@PerKurowski ©