Economics & Policy articles

Protecting the integrity of Banks

Protecting the integrity of Banks

The UN investigation into the assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri has impacted the financial scene. The work of German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis and his team to uncover suspects behind the murder created a stir when a request for banking secrecy laws to be lifted from the accounts of certain individuals key to the enquiry

What Lebanon can Learn from the Turkish Experience

The end game for developing countries, in this day and age, is the ability to attract and maintain capital investment. The catalyst to this inflow is, broadly speaking, a mix of infrastructure rehabilitation and reform. There are numerous trajectories in the developed world, but in many instances reform is slow, and the corollary of sustainable

Corruption: How bad was it?

Since the Syrian retreat last April and the euphoria of the Cedar Revolution a month earlier, more and more examples of how public money was squandered, stolen or simply squirreled away have come to light, strengthening the case for privatization and even leading to calls for a formal audit of the handling of public finances

Sami Haddad

Following an exceptionally tortuous government formation process, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora unveiled a 24-member cabinet on July 19. Among the new faces on the political scene was Sami Haddad, brought in from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – the World Bank’s private sector arm – to head the ministry of economy and trade. Armed with

All pumped up

Back in April 2004, we discussed oil in these pages, making the judgment that at nearly $50 per barrel, oil was getting into treacherously elevated price territory. The frenzy that ensued carried prices well beyond that to what they stand at above $65 per barrel today. The world financial media has been mesmerized by the

Ottoman chic

Lebanon’s architectural heritage has had a rough 50 years. Ever since the economic boom of the 1950s, which spurred real estate growth, launching the era of concrete modern high-rises at the expense of turn-of-the-century old buildings, the latter have been dwindling. Those that withstood the civil war were subsequently threatened with demolishment, as owners without

Lebanon and syria which needs the other more?

As the border crisis between Lebanon and Syria unfolded over the last two months, the bars of Beirut and the family restaurants of the Old City of Damascus were host to boisterous and often heated conversations on how it was time for each country to “go it alone.” The fallout from the late prime minister

Guaranteed Returns

Investors with a lower risk appetite or a shorter investment time horizon generally prefer to seek out an investment arrangement that provides a degree of certainty over capital, while seeking returns related to the performance of some of the world’s stock markets. Capital protected funds, also called guaranteed funds, are created to fill this need

Theories from the fringe

Even the most strident hawks in Washington could not have anticipated the stunning costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have cost American taxpayers more than $314 billion so far, to the extent that the Bush administration’s open-ended commitment has raised concerns, even among war supporters. At the rate the United States is

New trade in magazines

The Middle East is witnessing a rise in the number of Arab-published English-language trade magazines, geared specifically towards professionals operating in the region. The surge is being propelled by healthy annual growth in the Middle East’s $2.3 billion advertising sector but the lack of maturity in the market suggests that specialist titles may have to

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