Venezuela's grand gathering with creditors Monday lasted all of30 minutes and didn't produce anything of substance. To makematters worse, S&P Global Ratings declared the country indefault while Fitch Ratings cited missed payments by the state oilcompany.

The actions from the ratings companies came after an oddspectacle in Caracas, where bond investors who made the trek founda red-carpet welcome, an honor guard salute and gift bags stuffedwith state-produced chocolate and coffee. Fewer than 100 creditorsshowed up at the downtown Caracas office building, and at least onehightailed it out after realizing that two government officialssanctioned by the U.S. were in attendance, fearful of violatingrules governing interactions with them.

He didn't miss much. Very little was announced and nothing wasresolved, according to attendees who said they left just asconfused about the government's intentions as they were going in.Vice President Tareck El Aissami was the only official to speak,and devoted most of his prepared remarks to railing against DonaldTrump and global financiers who he said have conspired to keep thecountry from making debt payments on time. He pledged the nationwould continue to honor its obligations and work with bondholdersto find new ways to get them their money, but offered no concreteproposals for restructuring.

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