Economics & Policy articles

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

We don’t need no explanations

We know that growth of the global economy is not as it was in earlier eras – and International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde last month warned explicitly of a “low-growth trap” or the danger of disappointing growth being with us for a long time. “Forceful policy actions are needed to reinvigorate growth and

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

Preserving the heart of Mar Mikhael

In just a few years, the area of Mar Mikhael has gone from being a small industrial neighborhood to Beirut’s nightlife destination par excellence. Today, Vogue magazine’s recommendations for “Four Perfect Days in Beirut” are mostly centered around Mar Mikhael and its vicinity. Yet, it is important to contextualize and study such changes without taking

It’s not easy being green

While the climate change agreement at Kyoto took nearly a decade to achieve binding status for ratifying countries, l’Accord de Paris (nearly) accomplished this feat in a mere 10 months. As Executive goes to print, 61 countries have adopted the Paris Agreement, covering some 48 percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, as the one-year

Trash and the towns

Lebanon’s garbage crisis predates independence. Case in point, the country’s first sanitary landfill was built in the 1990s even though the technology emerged around the 1920s. Despite repeated policy failures by successive governments, however, the situation could be turning around. Their own devices By law, municipalities in Lebanon have the authority to handle their own

Wasting time

There, blocking the right-hand lane of traffic, was history repeating itself. Four days after the municipality of Bourj Hammoud blocked access to a temporary waste storage facility on August 24, uncollected garbage was spilling onto the Mirna Chalouhi Road in an eastern suburb of Beirut. If the latest pile-up of trash on the ground suggests

Lebanon’s wildlife villain

In the shade the temperature reached 34 degrees celsius as Executive met Samir Ghattas at Animal City for an interview in early August. “I turned this place into nature,” he said, “the zoo is my baby.” Executive had visited the zoo two weekends prior to this meeting, first posing as tourists in order to photograph

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