Author Archives: Thomas Schellen

The rock and the magic beanstalk

The rock and the magic beanstalk

Human rights are the rock from which modern civilization mines its values, its social contracts, and its entire portfolio of identities. Human rights are the very justification for our system of social coexistence and stratification. They are key to understanding humanity’s (mostly unsuccessful) attempts of balancing the logic of solidarity against the logic of economic

The long journey of a large retailer

Local markets have proven remarkably resilient when it comes to resisting the dominance of large retailers that offer fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in hypermarkets and supermarkets—those behemoths of daily shopping that you enter with an empty shopping cart the size of a compact car and leave with said cart overflowing. One operator of mega-sized retail

Predictive analytics and TMI syndromes

Too-much-information (TMI) syndrome is a chronic affliction of contemporary existence. The affliction is growing, without an app that can alert us to its threats and update us on the speed with which the disease of big data is invading ever more of our lives. Other IT buzzwords with mystifying potentials are artificial intelligence (AI) and

From foggy to cloudy

Ethereal. Ephemeral. Elusive. ETP, perhaps. Questing for upcoming banking-sector development opportunities in 2018 brings a whole palette of e-words to mind, including the “e” in ETP (electronic trading platform), but not the favorite e-word of marketers and their PR minions: exciting.  It seems that development opportunities in the banking sector are increasingly scarce, partly, of

Five cheers for stability

A good starting point for reviewing the Lebanese banking sector at the end of 2017 to study a document that was published early in the year and is referred to in financial High Valyrian as a FSAP. For common folks, this stands for Financial Sector Assessment Program. A FSAP is undertaken by the institutions missing

Deeply dancing diversity of culture

Culture in Lebanon is a mosaic of many histories and identities, from the most ancient of civilizational triumphs—such as the sarcophagi exhibited at Mathaf, the National Museum—to the reconstruction and re-imagination of Beirut’s urban core that began in the last decade of the 20th century and is still progressing in the Beirut Central District. In

Hugged more tightly

Their corporate identity and logo look like a crossbreed of Dutch over-the-counter laxatives and a new French social media venture. The green color theme of its livery, interior seating, and uniforms is located somewhere between forest serenity and conservative living room furniture. They are Transavia. Their strategy and business model is that of a budget

Passion and profit in Lebanon

Carlos Ghosn, who is Brazilian-Lebanese, is the chairman and chief executive of the French automotive group Renault, chairman and chief executive officer of the Nissan-Renault Alliance, and chairman of the board at Nissan Motor Corporation. During a recent visit to Lebanon, he participated in the launch of a real-estate project that will be based in

Talking about wealth

Wealth is a contentious issue when seen through the lens of social improvement. Viewed from the position of social equality, it is a recipe for dissatisfaction and, sometimes, disaster. How does a private banker reconcile obligations to clients with social responsibility and ambitions for national improvement? Executive sat down with Jean Riachi, chairman of FFA

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