GSAM has faced a storm of criticism for buying the PDVSA bonds, which opposition leaders say will not be honoured if the government falls. So far, says Russ Dallen of investment bank Caracas Capital, there have been no takers for the sovereign bonds.
“The PDVSA bond is toxic but not as toxic as the sovereign,” he says. “That one is incredibly radioactive. There have been no takers as far as I know, even at 20 cents.”
Mr Dallen at Caracas Capital — who is also publisher of the Latin American Herald Tribune, which first reported that Venezuela’s failure to pay its Russian debts had left a $1bn hole in Russia’s 2017 budget — points out that while Venezuela’s original default on its Russian debt happened some time ago, Russia’s public auditors say Venezuela has continued to miss payments this year, including one in March.