Economics & Policy articles

Nabil Sukkar

Nabil Sukkar

Syria’s ruling Baath Party introduced a meager set of reforms at its June 6-9 congress, dashing hopes that the eagerly-awaited event would launch a more rapid process of economic and political liberalization. Facing unrelenting pressure from the United States and growing regional isolation, the Syrian government is attempting to bolster internal unity by establishing clear

An untraveled road

With Lebanon’s parliamentary elections having recently provoked so much controversy for reasons of sectarian representation, little attention has been devoted to how the new Parliament might address urgent economic issues, security, corruption, as well as long-dormant issues directly or indirectly related to development, such as administrative decentralization and a new election law. A preliminary assessment

Swimming in stormy waters

For the past three years, especially since the collapse of US tech mania, the world has benefited from a massive credit boom, brought about by the central banks’ easy money policy. While the US Fed has raised interest rates to double what they were a couple of years ago, it is still maintaining low (inflation-adjusted)

What now for the Bekaa

Residents in the border town of Majdal Anjar broke a jar the moment the last Syrian soldier left Lebanese soil. It is a local ritual to signify that something has ended once and for all. But while the general atmosphere in the Bekaa is one of great relief and hope for a better future, it

It’s the Economy, Stupid

In assessing the state of the country, at this critical juncture, there is a need to emphasize the importance of placing the economic aspirations and needs ahead of the politics. In fact, for Lebanon to be on a true trajectory of prosperity it should elevate the debate from the confessional distributions and redistributions of the

Talking Economics

There could not be a greater difference of mandates for two successive governments in any country’s history. The current cabinet of Prime Minister Najib Mikati has been charged with terminating a protracted phase of managing Lebanon under a mixed set of priorities, wrapping up the past and handling one single, existentially important practical task: fair

Juggling debt wisely

The key to Lebanon’s short term economic future rests with its ability to get on a trajectory of reform and debt management. With the real economy bleeding and GDP expected to shrink this year, the importance of Lebanon’s debt management takes on a primary role, especially since gross public sector debt amounted to the equivalent

The economic relationship

In the current political furor, it must be remembered that the Lebanese and Syrian economies are and have been strongly interdependent – a situation that predates Syria’s military intervention in 1976 and will probably remain so in the short to medium term. Prior to former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination, the Lebanese economy was finally

Grace under fire

The Central Bank (BDL) has coped with great professionalism and efficiency with the resulting monetary and financial crisis, sparked by the Hariri assassination. Not only has it kept a low profile and worked diligently towards supporting the Lebanese pound, but it has also provided significant liquidity in support of local banks, while its significant foreign

Investors hold their breath

If the political confusion reigning at the end of March sent any kind of message as to what the agenda of a Lebanese government, or governments, would be in the next six months, it was that now is gambling season when it comes to predictions. The challenge to the Syrian-dominated order in Lebanon, which began