Author Archives: Thomas Schellen

Teams in MIT hackathon give Lebanon’s virtual salvation their best try

Teams in MIT hackathon give Lebanon’s virtual salvation their best try

Reading Time: 6 minutes The only things that are growing fast are bouts of desperation and the holes in people’s pockets. At least that’s the popular impression of the Lebanese crisis, one that can locally be reinforced by a trip to any supermarket and that has in recent weeks further been exacerbated by superficial and repetitive international media reporting.

Questions on data, policy design, and usefulness of assumptions

Reading Time: 11 minutes Economic man is a curious construct. Once thought to be a being superior to the common human in his pursuit of value creation and profit generation, the image of this specialized imaginary human subspecies has fundamentally changed. In fact, economic man has reached a point where some contemporary economists describe this model as emotionally dysfunctional—proposing

Banking economists on the Lebanese banking sector

Reading Time: 14 minutes Bankers are people. Brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, spouses, children, cousins, clients, business advisors, financial partners, and friends of other Lebanese people. Given that over 25,000 individuals are employed in the local banking sector, with high percentages of them being women (in comparison to most not “traditionally female” professions) in a banking workforce that is composed

The Lebanese banking sector, a long view

Reading Time: 10 minutes Lebanon’s geographic location and trading history dictate the need for three basic premises in terms of its Economic Policy: a strong and stable currency, advantageous trading facilities and low taxes. Michel Chiha Once there was a time when a Lebanese banker had a national vision. Whether a contemporary citizen agrees with this vision or not

British ambassador outlines prospects of bilateral relations and economic interaction between London and Beirut

Reading Time: 13 minutes The situation may change, but trusted relations remain. Lebanon’s economy today needs honest interaction and connectivity to long-standing partners more than ever before in the history of this state. The United Kingdom is a partner country at the (from Lebanese geographic perspective) far end of Europe that has had engaged with Lebanon in significant ways

Futures in question as losses hit Lebanese car importers

Reading Time: < 1 minute Citing a 91 percent year-on-year drop in registration numbers of new motor vehicles in April 2020, member companies of the AIA Lebanon (Association des Importateurs d’Automobiles au Liban) fear widespread business closures that could lead to losses of about 10,000 direct jobs. Naming financial barriers, the AIA in a letter of alarm points to “impossibility

Q&A with Riad Obegi, chairman of Banque BEMO, on banking sector challenges

Reading Time: 7 minutes At a time when banking is materially challenged by economic and financial stresses, and is faced with extreme criticism from distressed depositors and the explosion of economic commentators and activists of all colors in the country, Executive wanted to know what local banking leaders have to say about the quagmire and the way forward. Riad

Q&A with Ziad Hayek on his and Gérard Charvet’s plan to overcome Lebanon’s financial crisis

Reading Time: 8 minutes The arrival of a team by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Beirut for negotiations on the national need for financial assistance under a rescue package has sparked a wave of discussions on the task. This interest is fueled by widespread concerns that the latest official draft plan—based on a paper by international financial firm

Q&A with actuary Ibrahim Muhanna on insurance liabilities amid economic crisis

Reading Time: 6 minutes Practically every private household in Lebanon relies on one or other insurance service, beginning with the mandatory protection of motorists under third-party liability insurance or savings schemes offered by life insurers. Services such as health and pension insurance are becoming focuses of attention as the country’s healthcare and employment systems are increasingly challenged. Commercial lines

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