Author Archives: Thomas Schellen

How corona could fulfill a long-held economic worry

How corona could fulfill a long-held economic worry

At the time of writing (March 12) the number of known coronavirus infections had exceeded 126,000 and that the death toll was above 4,600 persons. Governments around the world have dedicated increasing medical, social, humanitarian, and financial resources toward bringing the threatening virus under control. At the same time, worries over the economic impact of

Analytical approaches to economic rescue plans for Lebanon

Lebanon’s political economy today is in a situation where risks are existential and inaction opens the gates to disaster, but potential payoffs are highly skewed to the upside—if successful. This suggests that the newly eager-for-action behaviors in the political class—which appear in many ways counter intuitive to previous decision-making patterns here—convey at least a modicum

Experts tackle Lebanon’s dilemmas with a plethora of rescue plans

IN BRIEF The implications of Lebanon’s current fiscal crisis are grave, but not fated to be devastating.  Economic rescue plans circulating remain in the pro-private and neo-liberal economic modes of thought. As a result, there is a reassuring amount of overlap but little efforts to explore solutions outside these paradigms.  At the beginning of 2020,

Transition scenarios and their bleak alternatives

For the roundtable on financial reality, monetary needs, and trade and energy issues, the discussion brief invited debate on the role and responsibility of the central bank, the banking sector, the insurance sector, and capital markets in Lebanon, coupled with exploring the country’s circumstances with regard to trade and remittances, its interdependency on international financial

Hard new looks at the tech ecosystem and its entrepreneurial future

Before the October 2019 uprising, it was not difficult to list unresolved questions and some outright disappointments with the way that the Lebanese entrepreneurship ecosystem had been shaped in the past six years since Lebanon’s central bank, Banque du Liban (BDL), effectively launched it with publication of its Circular 331. In mid-November, amid the uprising,

Keep the spirit of this revolution

Constitutions are serious stuff. The one that I grew up under is known as the Grundgesetz—the fundamental law of Germany. In its first line, this constitution declares that the dignity of the human being is inviolable and that the state has to honor and protect it. Back at the time of this constitution’s drafting 70

Houmal Technology Park

Houmal Technology Park (HTP) can be an example of tech manufacture and fruitful entrepreneurialism. Export orientation of tech companies can be realized independently from the Lebanese entrepreneurship ecosystem that relies on Circular 331. First-mover disadvantages of pioneering tech companies need to be compensated by state and municipal partners for creation of productive clusters. Risks pertaining

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