Hyperinflation pushes Venezuela to offer 50,000-bolivar bank note

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As its efforts to stem hyperinflation flounder, Venezuela’s socialist government has taken to issuing new large-denominated notes to help its citizens cope with rising costs.

Starting Thursday, the new currency now will come in denominations of 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 bolivars, according to a report in The Guardian. The largest denomination is worth about $8.13 in U.S. currency but is above the national minimum wage of 40,000 bolivars.

Venezuela’s inflation rate fell under 1 million percent in May after peaking above 1.3 million percent the previous month, nearly a year after President Nicholas Maduro instituted attempted reforms in August 2018 that cut five zeroes off the currency and prices. The largest note in circulation had been 500 bolivars, which The Guardian notes is not enough now to buy a piece of candy.

Officials in Venezuela blame the inflation crisis on U.S. sanctions that restricted its ability to sell oil. Critics, though, say mismanagement and an oversupply of currency have been the main issues.

Prior to the latest action, the nation had pushed banks to hold more cash in reserve and to restrict the central bank from releasing too much currency into circulation.

Read the full Guardian report here.

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