Venezuelan Overnight Rate 120%

Bloomberg reports today that "Venezuela's interbank overnight rate soared to as high as 120 percent after the central bank said it would halt some of its lending operations to financial institutions." This has led to a serious liquidity crisis. It also seems this was a very quick decision that surprised some banks. Ouch! When will we begin to see banks toppling there?

This liquidity crisis does not seem to be isolated to Venezuela, but is a trend that is showing up in other "emerging markets" countries too. According to Marketwatch Russia also has problems with little or no liquidity in the markets, and several smaller banks have had to shut down lending.

Don't forget that Russia and Venezuela are two of the world's biggest oil producers. So trouble there could mean higher oil prices. Ouch again!

And if a couple of "emerging markets" experience financial crises, this could well have effects worldwide, cf. the crisis of 1997/98.

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