Author Archives: Matt Nash

How to have a fair election

How to have a fair election

The goal of any electoral law in a representative democracy is fair and accurate representation. Many people in the country have argued that even with parliamentary seats divided among the country’s different religious groups, Lebanon has not done well in achieving this fair and accurate representation with its own electoral laws. A long-standing allegation against

The lights are on, but no one’s at home

Property developers with projects in and immediately around Beirut are in trouble. In late November, Massaad Fares – president of REAL, Lebanon’s syndicate for real estate brokers and consultants – explains that a years-long sales slump at the highest end of the market is having a wider economic impact. Developers with too much exposure to

Start me up

EXECUTIVE interviewed French Ambassador Emmanuel Bonne via email about French contributions to Lebanon’s entrepreneurship ecosystem as well as his country’s assistance to Lebanon. E   In terms of the economic relationship between the two countries, we’ve heard the French government will be helping to fund and build Smart ESA (École supérieure des affaires). What added

Limited reset

For relations between the UK and the European Union, 2016 was a year of total reboot. Half a year after the historic Brexit vote, details of what the actual Brexit deal will be are still unclear. However, with little impact on the relations between the UK and Lebanon, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s ambassador is

Convincing the masses

Parliamentary elections are coming, and groups of hopeful upstarts are forming (one even financed what must be a rather expensive national billboard campaign) with an eye on defeating as many establishment candidates as possible. The challenges for such an undertaking are many and significant, so an effective strategy is paramount. The first challenge facing outsiders

The legal building blocks of the ecosystem

Lebanon is an awful place to start an innovative, new business venture – from a legal perspective, at least. There are a few general rules that apply to startup companies: 1) Around 90 percent are expected to fail; 2) Founders typically have no cash, investing all they have (and all they can raise) into the

Selling a national oil company

The National Oil and Gas Company of Lebanon. Sounds official. It isn’t. But not for a lack of trying. Many countries with revenue from mining the “Devil’s excrement” (or Satan’s flatulence, to extend the metaphor and fully capture the industry) have a state-owned company participating in oil and gas operations (a working interest, as it’s

The twisted tale of the Lebanese Canadian Bank

You thought it was over, didn’t you? Assuming you remember the rise and demise of Lebanese Canadian Bank, from its ascendance in the 1990s until it was struck by US allegations of terrorism finance and money laundering (for Hezbollah) in 2011. Executive trusts that you also know of the subsequent investigations and negotiations. They resulted

Meet the megas

The confidence many developers have in the Lebanese real estate market is certainly not inspired by the numbers. On paper 2015 and 2016 look like the two worst years since 2007, yet this year and last have seen the launch of a handful of large-scale residential projects – one of which is the largest development

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