Venezuela's stock market finished 2011 up 79 percent in a year that saw most nations' markets loose substantial ground. - 

The Pulse is up today in news that some nations came out ahead in 2011. They just aren’t the ones you’d think.

The BBC reported this morning that Venezuela’s market finished up 79 percent in 2011, followed by non-traditional economic powerhouses Mongolia and Zambia. Sadly, they are pretty isolated successes.

Markets in the U.K. (-5.6 percent), Germany (-14.7 percent), Japan (-17 percent) and China (-22 percent), all lost ground this year, while the Greek market slumped a whopping 52 percent. But little Cyprus won the race to the bottom. Their markets gave up 72 percent in 2011.

Despite tough economic climates, both American and Irish markets finished 2011 in relatively decent shape, though citizens of both nations certainly felt the pain of belt-tightening. Call it “austerity” or economic reality, but if the current worldwide economic plague doesn’t motivate us to explore a modicum of banking regulation, nothing will.