Speaking of ZeroHedge, there's an interesting article about how falling oil prices could hurt socialist Venezuela (and isn't that just terrible for the country that basically took the oil away from the oil companies?) that I found via ZeroHedge. It points out that because of the short-sighted approach of Venezuelan leadership's pandering to the masses, they are on the verge of a crisis precipitated by the oil price slump.
But while Saudi Arabia tests the mettle of North American producers, it could be Venezuela that is the most vulnerable. As a fellow OPEC member, Venezuela has been the most vocal about the need to cut oil production and has called for an emergency meeting of the 12-member oil cartel. That is because Venezuela is in a much weaker position than many of the other member countries, and the recent drop in prices has raised alarm in Caracas.Using state-owned oil company PDVSA as a piggy bank has allowed the Venezuelan government to increase social spending over the last decade, a key political objective of the late President Hugo Chavez and his successor, Nicolas Maduro. However, using oil revenues for a wide array of spending priorities has also starved PDVSA of money needed for investment in order to boost oil production, let alone keeping output level. Since 2000, Venezuela has seen its oil output drop from 3.5 million barrels per day (bpd) down to 2.5 million bpd.
Too bad, so sad. Next.