Venezuela Banking Debacle
In the latest installment of a long-running banking crisis, the government took control of Banco de Venezuela, the country's second-largest bank, and pumped in $295 million to keep it running. That brings to 10 the number of banks taken over since January. The government also extended loans of $253 million to four other shaky banks. So far, the bailouts have cost the government more than $6 billion. President Rafael Caldera is expected to hike gasoline prices to help narrow the huge resulting budget deficit. A similar move led to bloody riots in 1989.