Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bayamo "experiment"

In Bayamo, there’s an experiment under way where goods and services normally provided in hard currency are available for Cuban pesos, AP reports. The effect is to make the purchases, which are now out of reach for most Cubans, affordable.

The article cites local officials saying the initiative is local.

But it doesn’t say what hypothesis the experiment is testing. Maybe this one: if the pesos’s purchasing power is boosted as much as it is in Bayamo today, how much commerce is generated, and how much does the government have to spend to subsidize it?

The answer to that question would be useful to central bankers thinking of strengthening the peso’s value or ending the dual currency system altogether – a step that Raul Castro recently placed at least five years in the future.

1 comment:

leftside said...

Fascinating. Am I right in reading through the lines that this only applies to the shops on the Paseo in Bayamo? How long is this going to last - it appears to be budgeted for a year ($10 million). This shows the people that the leadership is serious in moving on this very important issue. I am surprised that the program is open to all Cubans and not just those in Bayamo - for scientific reasons if not economic ones.