Economics & Policy articles

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

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

Q & A: Fouad Siniora – Forward thinking

Former finance minister Fouad Siniora has been involved in the shaping of the country’s economic policies for the past 12 years as cabinet member and key right hand man of assassinated former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Although he moved to the top post at Hariri-affiliated Banque Méditerranée at the beginning of 2005, from the day

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

Counting the losses

Rafik Hariri was an inevitable figure in Lebanese politics and economics. The man was greatly responsible for driving Lebanon towards the 21st century and gave the country (admittedly via a hefty debt) a world-class infrastructure, including a major airport, a much improved road network and telecommunication system, and a pristine city center. But most importantly,

Bridging the Gulf

Rafik Hariri’s catalogue of virtues was much trumpeted in the wake of his killing, but his most potent skill lay in his ability to initiate dialogue with key economic agents in the region. As The Independent’s Robert Fisk put it, he had become “Mr. Lebanon”, an oversized and overqualified salesman for Lebanon’s reconstruction. The relevance