Venezuelans are rushing to the banks this week in a desperate attempt to protect their savings from the government’s latest spasm of reckless financial policymaking.
On Tuesday morning thousands of people across Venezuela played hooky from work to line-up outside banks and deposit bundles of cash into their savings accounts after the government gave everyone a 72-hour countdown to turn in all their 100 bolivar notes before they’re removed from circulation.
“I’ve been saving for so long, withdrawing money every week and for what? Nothing!” complained José Orozco, who was holding a backpack full of money as he stood in line.
Thousands rushed to their banks today. The 100 Bs. note will be out of circulation in the next 24h pic.twitter.com/XPFpUQ4x5P
— Mariana Zuniga (@marazuniga) December 13, 2016
The 100 bolivar note, the highest denomination of Venezuelan currency, is currently worth about 3 cents on the U.S. dollar. But Venezuela’s government announced on Sunday that it is removing the bills from circulating because they’re being purchased in bulk by “international mafia groups” that are allegedly trying to “overthrow” the struggling socialist government by hoarding money abroad and starving Venezuela of cash.