Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to the Axios Closer newsletter for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with the Axios Sports newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Venezuela's economic crisis has stretched into 2018 after government forces forcefully quashed protests against President Nicolas Maduro's government last year, killing at least 120 in the process. In recent weeks, the black market exchange rate — far more trusted than the government's laughably rosy official rate of 10 Venezuelan bolivars for one U.S. dollar — has spiraled out of control, recently topping 200,000 bolivars for a dollar, per DolarToday.

Expand chart
Data: dolartoday.com; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Why it matters: The crippling economic forces that spurred last year's protests against the Maduro regime have accelerated, and many ordinary Venezuelans not only can't afford food but also often don't have the cash to pay for it.

For normal Venezuelans, the country's hyperinflation takes an exacting toll on daily life. Per a report from CNN Money's Stefano Pozzebano, citizens in Caracas now wait for hours at banks to obtain their daily allowance of cash, equivalent to just a few cents and worth less and less each day.

  • Venezuelans are forced to contend with completely arbitrary daily withdrawal allowances. Pozzebano's report details his attempt to get cash in the Venezuelan capital, ultimately getting 10,000 bolivars — that day's allowance — after visiting four banks over four hours. That day, 10,000 bolivars equaled six U.S. cents.
  • The country's government assistance program gives citizens bags of essential goods at subsidized prices. Those goods have been shrinking in both size and quality as foreign investment in Venezuela collapses, but even they cost 30,000 bolivars each.
  • Bloomberg notes that, according to its Cafe con Leche Index, the price of a cup of coffee in Caracas has risen from 5,500 bolivars to 45,000 bolivars in just 12 weeks. That pace, should it continue unabated, indicates an eye-watering annualized inflation rate of 448,025%.

For the macroeconomic forces behind Venezuela's collapse, Harvard professor — and former Venezuelan minister of planning — Ricardo Haussman collected some mind-boggling stats last year for Project Syndicate:

  • Venezuela's GDP contracted by 40% in per capita terms from 2013 to 2017 — and that's based off estimates as Maduro stopped reporting economic data in 2015. A recent filing with the SEC by the Venezuelan government indicated that its economy had contracted by 16.5% in 2016 alone.
  • To make things worse, the decline in Venezuela's oil production and decreased global demand of Venezuela's chief export — which greatly subsidizes its socialist regime — resulted in a 51% drop in national income from 2013 to 2017.
  • The minimum wage declined by 88% from 2012 to 2017 when compared against the black market exchange rate.
  • Venezuelans making that minimum wage cannot afford to feed a family of five, even when their entire income is devoted to purchasing the cheapest available calories.
  • Income poverty jumped to 82% in 2016 — a shocking increase from 48% in 2014.

Go deeper

54 mins ago - World

Mapped: The world's most and least corrupt countries

Expand chart
Data: Transparency International; Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

The most corrupt governments in the world are in South Sudan, Syria and Somalia, according to Transparency International's annual index, while the "cleanest" are in Denmark, Finland and New Zealand.

  • Breaking it down: The U.S. is 27th, China 66th, India 85th, Brazil 96th and Russia 136th. Scroll over the map to see each country's ranking.

Crypto leads to massive surge in online scams

Expand chart
Reproduced from FTC; Chart: Axios Visuals

Bogus cryptocurrency investments led to an unprecedented increase in online scams last year, according to new data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Why it matters: Cryptocurrency is an easy target because while it's surging in popularity, there's still a lot of confusion about how it works.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
3 hours ago - Health

New clues emerge on long COVID

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

The presence of certain autoantibodies or high amounts of coronavirus RNA in the blood could be indicators a patient has a higher chance of developing long COVID, according to a new study in the journal Cell.

  • Other factors include a person having Type 2 diabetes or the reactivation of the Epstein-Barr virus.