Economics & Policy articles

Where is the money going?

Where is the money going?

In November 2017, Parliament ratified a state budget for the first time in over a decade. For  fiscal year 2017, the state’s total spending allocation was almost $16 billion (LL23.9 trillion). This represents a nearly 140 percent increase in public spending compared to 2005, the last year for which a budget was passed, when spending

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

A new hope

For the first time in a very long time, I am hopeful that activism in Lebanon is opening up to new ways of mobilizing and engaging citizens in public life. I have been involved in a range of civil-society work for more than a decade. My PhD thesis addressed the challenges imposed by Lebanon’s political

At long last…

Guarded optimism from a variety of anti-establishment groups, political movements, and individuals followed the mid-2017 approval of a new electoral law. Lebanon’s Parliament has thrice extended its own term since the last elections in 2009, ostensibly twice because lawmakers had failed to agree on a new law to govern new polls. After the most recent

Missed connections

Their approaches have been as different as fresh fallen snow is from the salty splash of the sea. Abdel Moneim Youssef, former head of the Lebanese state-owned telecom provider Ogero, was cold. Elusive, even. He avoided questions by dissecting them and firing queries back at his interviewer. Imad Kreidieh—who replaced Youssef after the latter was

Lebanon’s mismanagement strikes again

Lebanon is an oasis. In a region synonymous with desert, the only significant stretches of sand in the tiny, water-rich country are along its 220-kilometer Mediterranean coast. It is the only place in the Middle East with a natural ski season, yet it still does not take on-the-ground snowfall measurements—assessments have been done by studying

In need of new energy

Lebanon’s electricity sector was not saved in 2017, despite an emergency plan from the Ministry of Energy and Water (MoEW) endorsed by the cabinet earlier in the year. While the electricity needs for much of the country did not improve much this year, the outlook for 2018 and beyond looks a little brighter. Lebanon currently

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