Banking & Finance articles

Corruption’s hefty price tag

In the academic analysis of economics, corruption is a clear and present danger. “Efficient allocation of resources is the key to the capitalist system,” said Karim Salameh, managing director at Saradar Investment House and member of a new generation of Lebanese economists. “In the textbook answer, corruption cripples because it diverts resources away from their

It’s all in the name

Did it ever occur to you that your email address could be presenting you in a bad light? Last year, 31 million emails were sent each day. According to the International Data Corporation, by 2006, this number is expected to reach 60 billion, while the number of worldwide email addresses is expected to increase from

The wedding planners

This year, roughly 1,000 couples, spending between $25,000 and $35,000 each, retained the services of wedding planners, those hardy souls who organize, advise, coordinate and offer a shoulder to cry on. Essentially an American import, wedding planning has evolved from a few scattered operators into a lucrative $7 million niche sector, serviced by a dozen

A growing epidemic

When World Bank President James Wolfensohn opened the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund last month in Dubai, he said the world was out of balance, with one sixth of the global population controlling 80% of global GDP and the divide between rich and poor nations ever increasing. The head of

From the eye of the storm

On September 30, Ayoub Humayed met with Executive for a political reality check on EDL, during which he answered questions on recent accusations leveled at EDL over corruption and criminal waste of public funds. In doing so, minister Humayed provided Executive with much anticipated answers on the issues of graft and transparency at EDL. E:

Money back guarantee

In the first six months of 2003, over $1 million in VAT-refunds have been reimbursed to tourists and non-resident Lebanese. It is estimated that 15,000 tourists, roughly 1.5% of all foreign arrivals, took the time to put their purchases through the Global Refund tax-free shopping system, collecting an average of $66 from new tax-free shopping

Tough sell

Recent data suggests that commercial banks and financial institutions in Lebanon are increasingly shying away from corporate lending. In fact, most major banks remain wary of the Lebanese corporate environment, as they still attempt to mend their existing portfolios of corporate debt, to the extent of actually reducing the size of their portfolio of commercial

Q&A : Pierre Achkar

E: How would you describe Lebanon’s summer in terms of tourists? PA: If summer means July and August, then summer was excellent for Beirut. Like last year, it was also good for the regions of Jounieh, Broummana and Bhamdoun. Our aim, however, is to extend the summer season from April to October, as in the

Bush’s flawed Middle East manifesto

Last month, Condoleezza Rice, Bush’s national security advisor, compared the present post-Iraq war situation in the Middle East to post World War II Europe. “America,” wrote Rice in her August 7 editorial published in the Washington Post, “committed itself to the long-term transformation of Europe.” She goes on to say: “…our policymakers set out to

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