Tag Archives: us

The life-span of your billfold, in one chart

US$1,000 is easy to carry around in your pocket. You need 10 US$100 bills. That will fit easily into a typical wallet. Things are easier in Europe, where you need only two €500 bills. Some other countries, not so much. How many notes do you need to have $1000? 

Per XE.com, dolarblue, and dolar today

Per XE.com, dolarblue, and dolar today

The Venezuelan 100-bolivar note is the country’s highest-denomination currency. When introduced in 2008, it was worth US$46.51. Valued at the price that people will pay for it (rather than the “price” declared by the government) its value has now slipped to $1.88, making it the least valuable top-denomination currency in any country in the Americas, at least. In real terms, you need 550 of them to have $1000.

Are there others like it elsewhere?

Derwick says Reich’s racketeering case is garbage (UPDATED)

Derwick Associates, which was sued by former ambassador Otto Reich for alleged defamation and racketeering, finally comes to its own defense. As I said at the start, the case doesn’t look like a slam dunk. And Derwick is mounting a vigorous defense. Here’s a letter the Venezuelan electricity contractor’s principals, Pedro Trebbau and Leopoldo Betancourt, filed last week in US court. A few excerpts:

We and Tew Cardenas LLP, on behalf of defendants Leopoldo Alejandro Betancourt Lopez and Pedro Jose Trebbau Lopez (the “Derwick Defendants”), write … to request a pre-motion conference to seek permission to move to dismiss the complaint…

This case is nothing more than an effort by plaintiffs to transform legally insufficient state law tort claims, primarily sounding in defamation, into a claim under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”). Plaintiffs’ claims fail because: Continue reading

Dino Bouterse arrested, old friends free

Dino Bouterse, son of the president of Suriname, was arrested today in Panama to be deported to the US on allegations of drug smuggling.

Moving up in the world, I see. This was him in 2010 with a couple guys who look vaguely familiar.



(Update a week later — seems Dino was pals with lots more interesting characters in Venezuela.)

Fascinating AP story on Cuba oil hunt, US sanctions

AP-Cuba doing their job. Look at this:

Experts say it is not unusual that a 3-mile (4.8-kilometer) deep exploratory well drilled at a cost of more than $100 million by Spanish oil giant Repsol was a bust. Four out of five such wells find nothing in the high-stakes oil game, and petroleum companies are built to handle the losses.

But Cuba has more at stake, and only a few more spins left of the roulette wheel. The enormous Scarabeo-9 platform being used in the hunt is the only one in the world that can drill in Cuban waters without incurring sanctions under the U.S. economic embargo, and it is under contract for only one to four more exploratory wells before it heads off to Brazil.

Go check it out.