Barclays Plc has decided that Venezuela is too dangerous for its bond-investor clients. No, not as in default kind of dangerous. Sure that’s possible but Barclays is more worried right now about things like kidnapping and murder.
Last month, the bank canceled a trip to take a group of money managers to Caracas after its security team deemed the trip “unwise” without “significantly enhanced” safety measures, according to an e-mail sent to investors that was obtained by Bloomberg News.
It amuses me to imagine what “significantly enhanced” measures would mean in the Traveller universe.
At a time when interest rates are near zero or even negative in many countries across the globe, the 23 percent yield offered by Venezuela’s benchmark dollar bonds stands out as a rare opportunity for the bravest of investors to make a big score. Before taking that plunge and buying the debt of a nation mired in crisis, though, investors will typically want to see the place first-hand, talk to government officials and business executives and assess the mood on the ground. In Venezuela, that means walking into a country convulsed by an economic collapse, spontaneous street protests and soaring crime.
The relentless search for profits continues. When you are talking multi-millions and billions, you want face-to-face talks, if only to avoid the really sophisticated scams. But face-to-face talks means sticking your neck out… sometimes wayyy out.
“But hey – at least the Venezuelans aren’t ready for cannibalism yet, even if the old school ‘fat=wealthy’ connection is back in business… and it’s getting more and more difficult to spot any stray pigeons, cats, or dogs. Try visiting a starving Vargr world – any really hungry Vargr world, even the most civilized.”