Author Archives: Thomas Schellen

Can McKinsey’s Lebanon Economic Vision work for agriculture?

Can McKinsey’s Lebanon Economic Vision work for agriculture?

For what it is worth, the current outlook for Lebanon’s crop of traditional cereals, such as wheat, barley and maize, is not plastered with red flags. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says in its latest country briefing that weather conditions this winter were favorable and that estimates for the 2018 total cereal harvest were

Health insurance in times of chronic diseases

For all the good that numbers can do for explaining economic and social trajectories, statistics provide limited utility. This is exacerbated into rapidly decreasing utility when social and economic issues are of immense complexity and have divergent, contradictory, or confusing data points attached to them. Things get even worse when an issue extends beyond economic

Investing in cybersecurity companies

When it comes to predictions for this year, there are some prophecies that are practically risk-free, even outside the notion that the biggest risks of 2019 are not related to financial markets or even economic uncertainty. One such virtually risk-free prediction is that the digital transformation will continue. Another safe one is that Big Data

A new legal class on digital

Political class is not always a flattering term. Actually, undercurrents of personal animosity and/or political criticism are endemic when discussions turn to the political class—in any country. In Lebanon, the most frequent connotations of the term appear to be wasta and corruption. Hailing from a political family is in this sense a definite reputational burden

Interview with the new Lebanese minister of state for information technology and investment

Lebanon is well-acquainted with the true diaspora returnee: the individual born in Lebanon who departed at some point in the 20th century, who has one or multiple tertiary education degrees—often earned at a ranking European or American university—and who succeeded in his career abroad before returning to Lebanon, for reasons ranging from family responsibilities or/and

Dipping into digital waters

When four officers of two highly respected Lebanese military institutions—the Lebanese Army and the Internal Security Forces—in mid-January took their chairs on a panel at the American University of Beirut (AUB) to participate in what the university advertised as its first Cyber Security Day, the assembled students, professors from various academic institutions, and guests, did

Advocating true wisdom

In Executive’s view of things that happened locally in January 2019, three incidents testified to the presence—and the perils of—irrational expectations. Such expectations actually work in two directions, with different attendant risks: The first direction is that of excessive enthusiasm, very well-known to the economically literate from the last global exposure to “irrational exuberance,” in

An accumulation of economic woes

Executive met with then-caretaker Minister of Economy Raed Khoury to discuss McKinsey & Company’s economic vision (commissioned by the government in late 2017 and published in early January), the ministry’s progress in regulating private generation of electricity, and the political and economic situation of Lebanon ahead of mid-January’s Arab League Economic and Social Development summit,

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