The arrival of a Liberian-flagged freighter with Ukrainian, Arab and Filipino sailors spells one thing for Elena — dollars. And greenbacks are king in Venezuela, the 32-year-old prostitute says. Within hours of hearing of the ship’s imminent arrival, she has packed her bags and is heading to the crumbling city of Puerto Cabello. It is a 450-kilometer (280-mile) journey from her home in the Western state of Zulia that Elena finds herself doing more often now as Venezuela’s economy contracts, the bolivar slumps and prices soar. Prostitutes more than double their earnings by moonlighting as currency traders in Puerto Cabello. They are the foreign exchange counter for sailors in a country where buying and selling dollars in the streets is a crime — and prostitution isn’t. Greenbacks in the black market are worth 11 times more than the official rate as dollars become more scarce in an economy that imports 70 percent of the goods it consumes. [Bloomberg]

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Comments (8)

  1. Posted by Im_a_Dude | June 9, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    well, whatever they're doing down there, Shazar should go.

  2. Posted by trader | June 9, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    I got a boner after reading this

    –DSK

  3. Posted by Guest | June 9, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    I thought currency traders were prostitutes, not vice versa.

  4. Posted by theShizznitt | June 9, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    Not the only country where being a whore is more highly regarded than being a FICC trader. My parents are ashamed to have a child work for an alleged rate rigger. They probably wished I was a porn star instead of working for a Swiss bank.

  5. Posted by No homo | June 9, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    Son, we just want you to get into the family business. Nothing more.

  6. Posted by Eliot Spitzer | June 9, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    There are subtleties. Currency traders are street walkers, equity traders are hookers, FI traders are prostitutes, Asset Managers are strippers and Wealth Managers are escorts.

  7. Posted by Vlad | June 9, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    Time to depose dollar supremacy.

    – Putin

  8. Posted by Guest | June 10, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    It's $10 for a BJ
    £12 for an HJ
    €15 for a ZJ…

    – B. Badrinath