Venezuela Pulls Highest-Value Banknote, Closes Border with Colombia
December 13th, 2016
Venezuela just made it harder for its citizens to escape the country’s cash crisis.
President Nicolas Maduro announced Monday night that he’s closing the country’s border with Colombia for 72 hours as Venezuelans rush to exchange bills before they become invalid later this week. He accused “mafias” of moving Venezuelan money into Colombia.
It’s the latest twist in a crisis that symbolizes Venezuela’s severe economic depression, which is having a brutal impact on its citizens’ lives.
The Venezuelan government said in a statement that shutting the border with Colombia was necessary “to counteract the criminal attacks against our currency.”
Some Venezuelans are going to border towns in Colombia to exchange their currency, the bolivar, for U.S. dollars or to spend their money — while they still can — in Colombia where food, toiletries and other basics are plentiful.
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AUSTRALIA COULD SCRAP THE $100 NOTE
December 13th, 2016
Via: New Zealand Herald:
Australia looks set to follow in the footsteps of Venezuela and India by abolishing the country’s highest-denomination banknote in a bid to crack down on the “black economy”.
Speaking to ABC radio on Wednesday, Revenue and Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer flagged a review of the $100 note and cash payments over certain limits as the government looks to recoup billions in unpaid tax.
Monday’s midyear budget update will include the appointment of former KPMG global chairman Michael Andrew to oversee a black economy taskforce. The black economy accounts for 1.5 per cent of GDP, given many cash payments are untaxed.
O’Dwyer told the ABC not only is the lost revenue owed to the Australian people for schools and hospitals, but it’s also critical for those who do the right thing and pay tax.
“The whole point of this crackdown on the black economy is to make sure we close down any potential loopholes,” she said.
Despite the broad use of electronic forms of payment, O’Dwyer warned there are three times as many $100 notes in circulation than $5 notes.
“It does beg the question, ‘Why?’” she said.