Last night, I found myself at a very nice party in which Claire and I were the youngest people there by quite some bit. There were a few people there involved in the financial world, including a fellow whose job regularly brings him to China. Understandably, much of what we talked about was related to the ongoing financial crisis.
I did, however, ask them Holly's question about Ecuador's high interest rate. Their answer was, roughly ''Ecuador would have such a high interest rate because they have lousy credit. And by the way, defaulting on that debt is only going to make their credit worse and make it impossible to get loans.''
Their belief was that what Rafael Correa has done is unbelievably stupid and most likely driven by the hope that Hugo Chavez will do more to help the country than is reasonable to expect. They attributed a lot to Chavez's influence, and to give an idea where these fellows are coming from, they referred to him as a ''countrywrecker''. However, they're Canadians, and basically Tories, so they weren't exactly positive about many of the things the US has done in recent years either. These guys are not neocons.
An interesting thing to note here is that Venezuela has extremely thick oil, which means that there's really only one country with the refineries to handle it- you guessed it, the United States. This is why the US and Venezuela, who play arch-enemies in the papers, actually do so much business together.