PDVSA bailout was bigger than I thought

El Universal has the story.

Due to sinking revenues, last year state-run oil holding Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) asked government agencies for financial help and by means of promissory notes and issuance of investment certificates, it got near USD 6 billion.

Pdvsa financial statements reveal that in 2009 the Bank for Economic and Social Development (Bandes), the Bank of the Treasury, the Deposit Guarantee and Bank Protection Fund (Fogade) and the National Treasury Office ended transferring funds to the corporation. CONTINUES<

Amusingly, they come up with more than $6 billion in government aid to PDVSA in 2009 and they don´t even count the $2 billion gift from Fonden to PDVSA that I reported earlier. The ones they see are mostly government short term loans and loan guarantees. The one I spotted was, to my mind, even more egregious, and I am surprised nobody else has reported it. I think I did a bad job of explaining the situation in my first article, so let me spell it out.

At the beginning of 2009, Venezuela´s central bank transferred (Excel) $12 billion to Fonden, an off-budget infrastructure development fund. Later in the year, Fonden gave PDVSA $2 billion in compensation for some undefined social spending. At the same time, PDVSA paid a $2 billion dividend to the government´s general operating budget. So if you follow the money and ignore the middlemen, you see the Central Bank using reserves to cover Venezuela´s annual operating budget in a year with oil prices averaging $57 a barrel, $17 a barrel higher than the assumption in the federal budget, and Fonden and PDVSA being used as money launderers.

I may be misinterpreting things here. I don´t mean to take a cheap shot or anything, so if any of the four instutions involved (Venezuela government, PDVSA, Venezuela Central Bank or Fonden) care to respond, I´m happy to give them space to reply. Just as I´m happy to give space to Talisman Energy or Pacific Rubiales. We´re all grownups here, right?