Venezuela's Chavez Bans Private Brokerages From Trading Currency

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez signed a law Tuesday that bans private brokerages from trading the country's bolivar currency or public sector dollar-denominated debt.

The bill, which had been approved by parliament and only required the president's signature, restricts brokerages to trading local stocks and securities issued by the private sector, Reuters reported.

"With this we are leaving behind the rot of capitalism," Chavez said. "Venezuelans can now save, but not save in the rotten brokerages of the bourgeoisie that take the money to the United States."

The move could wipe out many private brokerages, as the local stock exchange averaged less than $500,000 dollars a day in trading last year.

Venezuela is suffering from high inflation, which Chavez blames on capitalist speculators.