Venezuelan president seizes control of central bank


Venezuela Fuels Fears over Hyperinflation

By Andres Schipani
Financial Times, London
Tuesday, January 5, 2015

Venezuela on Monday fuelled fears of looming hyperinflation after publishing a decree by President Nicolás Maduro curbing legislative oversight of the central bank.

The tactic is the latest in a power struggle between the incumbent Mr Maduro and the new opposition-led legislature due to be sworn in on Tuesday and comes as the country is gripped by a tumultuous political, social, and economic crisis.

Mr Maduro's decree, dated last Wednesday, strips away the legislature's controls over the central bank, including the power to appoint and sack directors.

"Maduro made the central bank his personal minting ministry, in a country where the constitution establishes an independent central bank," said Francisco Monaldi, a Venezuelan economist and visiting Harvard professor. "The full discretional presidential control over the central bank is the ultimate tool for sliding into hyperinflation in Venezuela." ...

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