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Daily Picks Friday: Venezuela Hyperinflation Index Reaches the One Million Mark

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Venezuela Hyperinflation Index Reaches the One Million Mark


  • A cup of coffee now costs one million bolivars in Caracas, just two years ago a coffee cost 450 bolivars.
  • And yet, at the same time, one million bolivars is really nothing. When converted into dollars, it comes to a mere 29 cents.
  • With the latest price increase -- from 800,000 bolivars, just a week earlier -- inflation over the past 12 months in Venezuela climbed to 43,378%.
  • And if you examine a snapshot of the past three months and project that pace out to a full year, it paints an even grimmer picture: inflation of 482,153%.

EU cuts migration deal after marathon talks, differences remain.


  • EU leaders agreed to share out refugees arriving in the bloc on a voluntary basis and create “controlled centres” inside the European Union to process asylum requests.
  • They also agreed to share responsibility for migrants rescued at sea, a key demand of Italy’s new Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
  • It took place in an atmosphere of political crisis, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel under intense political pressure at home to take a firmer stance on migration.
  • She acknowledged that the bloc still had “a lot of work to do to bridge the different views.”
  • French President Emmanuel Macron, who has sharply criticised Italy for refusing to allow a migrant rescue ship into its ports, said European cooperation had “won the day”.

Scoop: Trump's private threat to upend global trade


  • President Trump has repeatedly told top White House officials he wants to withdraw the United States from the World Trade Organisation.
  • The source added that Trump has frequently told advisers, "We always get fucked by them [the WTO]. I don’t know why we’re in it. The WTO is designed by the rest of the world to screw the United States."
  • Some aides have tried to explain to Trump that in their view, the U.S. does well at the WTO, given the U.S. has an army of trade lawyers and created the system.
  • The United States has won 85.7% of the cases it has initiated before the WTO since 1995, compared with a global average of 84.4%. In contrast, China’s success rate is just 66.7%.
  • A U.S. withdrawal from the WTO would send global markets into a spiral and cast trillions of dollars of trade into doubt.
  • It would also blow up an institution that for 70-plus years has been a pillar of global economic and political stability.
  • As head of state, Trump under international law could make the notification at the WTO. But the U.S. law implementing the WTO agreements states quite plainly that withdrawal from the WTO requires an act of Congress.
  • If Trump continues to feel as if he’s being unfairly stymied by the international body, you’d be a fool to confidently declare that he won’t follow through on his desires at some point.