“Se você estiver um pouco confuso… não se sinta mal”, acrescentou Russ Dallen da Caracas Capital, um especialista na dívida da Venezuela.
A confusão deriva, em parte, da complexidade das obrigações da Venezuela, que foram emitidas por várias entidades, com várias cláusulas legais, para múltiplas partes. O país deve US$ 64 bilhões a detentores de bônus, mais de US$ 20 bilhões aos aliados China e Rússia, US$ 5 bilhões a credores multilaterais, como o Banco Interamericano de Desenvolvimento (BID), e dezenas de bilhões a importadores e firmas de serviços que mantêm a crucial indústria do petróleo funcionando e o regime respirando.
“If you are a little confused . . . don’t feel bad,” added Russ Dallen of Caracas Capital, a Venezuela debt specialist. In part, the confusion stems from the complexity of Venezuela’s debts, which have been issued by various entities, with varied legal clauses, to multiple parties. It owes $64bn to bondholders, more than $20bn to allies China and Russia, $5bn to multilateral lenders such as the InterAmerican Development Bank, and tens of billions to the importers and service companies that keep the all-important oil industry pumping and the regime afloat.
“Si está un poco confundido. . . no se sienta mal “, agregó Russ Dallen de Caracas Capital, un especialista en deuda de Venezuela.
En parte, la confusión proviene por la complejidad de las deudas de Venezuela, que han sido emitidas por varias entidades, con cláusulas legales variadas, en múltiples partes. Debe $ 64 mil millones a los tenedores de bonos, más de $ 20 mil millones a los aliados de China y Rusia, $ 5 mil millones a los prestamistas multilaterales como el Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo y decenas de miles de millones a los importadores y compañías de servicios que mantienen a la importante industria petrolera bombeando y al régimen a flote.
“When the ratings agencies say you’re in default, that’s a bad thing,” says Venezuelan debt expert Russ Dallen, who heads the Miami investment firm Caracas Capital Markets.
But Dallen also points out the agencies didn’t say Venezuela was in full-blown default. They used the term “selective default,” because this month Venezuela and its state-run oil company failed to make two big bond interest payments on time.
“We’re not sure whether the cat is alive or dead,” Dallen says. “It’s partly in default, but maybe they’re going to get out of default. They’re kind of putting it in this gray area because Venezuela is continuing to say that they’re going to pay.”
Venezuela today is mired in the world’s worst economic collapse – but it has kept making payments on its $150 billion foreign debt. In fact, it puts those payments ahead of importing food, medicine and other desperately needed goods.
That’s because not making those payments – and going into default – means creditors can start seizing Venezuela’s all-important oil assets the way a repo man can come take your car.
“Everything gets more aggressive if that happens,” says Dallen. “They start trying to seize oil shipments on the high seas, because their job is to collect their debt.”
Here’s another reason creditors believe – or want to believe – Venezuela will keep making its payments. Venezuela’s economic crisis makes buying its debt very risky. But that also makes the rate of return on that investment very lucrative.
“A yield above 30 percent,” says Dallen. “It’s so high that it’s essentially paycheck loans – it’s those kind of usurious rates.”