A clerk grabs a stack of Venezuelan 10 bolivars banknotes at a fruit and vegetable store in Caracas July 10, 2015. REUTERS/Marco Bello
Washington Post: Venezuela’s currency is so devalued it no longer fits in ordinary wallets
CARACAS, Venezuela — It’s not so easy to find someone who still uses a wallet in Venezuela, where inflation is expected to reach 720 percent this year and the biggest bill — 100 bolivars — is worth about 5 U.S. cents on the black market.
The currency has dropped dramatically in value as Venezuela’s oil-based economy has cratered and the government has frantically printed more money. Prices, meanwhile, are soaring. So Venezuelans must handle huge volumes of cash — so much that the bills don’t always fit in a standard wallet — with many people packing wads of currency in handbags, money belts or backpacks.
The owner of a tiny kiosk selling newspapers, cigarettes and snacks in one of Caracas’s nicer neighborhoods said that each evening he quietly stuffs a plastic bag full of the day’s earnings, around 100,000 bolivars (about $52) in notes of 10, 20, 50 and 100 bolivars. This is a country with one of the highest crime rates in the world, and carrying that much cash is dangerous. He said he doesn’t feel safe, despite having his own scooter rather than using public transport.
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Update #1: Venezuela currency tanks 60 percent in month on black market (Reuters)
Update #2: Venezuela's currency now worth so little shopkeepers weigh vast piles of notes instead of counting them (The Independent)
WNU Editor: This is going to get worse if this week's OPEC meeting fails to increase prices .... Can An OPEC Deal Save Venezuelan Oil From Total Collapse? (Nick Cunningham, OilPrice.com).