Tuesday, June 17, 2008

No jobs? Then let them have credit cards! 

Seeing as Chavez can't be bothered to create an industrial policy that would let people get better paying jobs and have careers that will last 5 minutes past the price of oil tanking he has decided to do the next best thing - let them get bank loans:

Chavez pushes Venezuela's banks into poor barrios

CARACAS, June 17 (Reuters) - Angel Caballero's experience in business administration may have helped get him a job with Venezuela's Banesco bank, but it was his knowledge of Caracas' poor barrios that the bank was really after.

The former steel industry worker manages $1.5 million of loans spread over 250 clients in some of the most impoverished areas of Caracas' west side, helping Banesco tap into one of Venezuela's fastest-growing lending markets.

"At first people were a little wary," said Caballero, who was raised in the Caracas barrio of Magallanes de Catia. "But once the loan is approved, people feel they are being taken into account and they are very responsible about paying."

Faced with galloping inflation and heavy regulation by the government of leftist President Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's banks are expanding their portfolios of small loans to low-income clients as they search for new business.

Venezuelans see banks as the institutions doing the most to improve the lives of citizens, according to a recent survey by pollster Datanalisis, despite Chavez's threats to nationalize banks as part of his self-described socialist revolution.

Though there are not yet statistics on the growth of these loans, analysts say they are expanding banks' client base while helping incorporate into the banking system the 60 percent of Venezuelans that still stuff their savings in sock drawers.

I swear to god, this place is becoming more like the U.S. every day. Industrial workers in the U.S. are losing jobs and suffering pay cuts left and right - but they can still pig out on credit cards, at least until they default and everything gets reposessed.

Now Venezuela doesn't have many industrial workers to begin with because that country's governments for the past 50 or 60 years have had better things to do with their money than waste it building industry. But hey, they will help you get a bank loan and maybe even a credit card.

Think of it, with bank accounts and credit cards even the poor could get in on the Cadivi pinata!


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