Economics & Policy articles

Sami Haddad

Sami Haddad

Reading Time: 10 minutes 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

Coming up with the funds

Reading Time: 5 minutes The Lebanese financial sector has long been dominated by commercial banks, which have grown significantly in the post-war period. Indeed, customer deposits have increased threefold since 1995 to reach the $60 billion mark by the end of the first quarter of 2005. However, this phenomenal growth was more or less cancelled out by the banks

Theories from the fringe

Reading Time: 8 minutes 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

Reading Time: 6 minutes 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

Nabil Sukkar

Reading Time: 6 minutes Syria’s ruling Baath Party introduced a meager set of reforms at its June 6-9 congress, dashing hopes that the eagerly-awaited event would launch a more rapid process of economic and political liberalization. Facing unrelenting pressure from the United States and growing regional isolation, the Syrian government is attempting to bolster internal unity by establishing clear

An untraveled road

Reading Time: 5 minutes With Lebanon’s parliamentary elections having recently provoked so much controversy for reasons of sectarian representation, little attention has been devoted to how the new Parliament might address urgent economic issues, security, corruption, as well as long-dormant issues directly or indirectly related to development, such as administrative decentralization and a new election law. A preliminary assessment

Swimming in stormy waters

Reading Time: 6 minutes For the past three years, especially since the collapse of US tech mania, the world has benefited from a massive credit boom, brought about by the central banks’ easy money policy. While the US Fed has raised interest rates to double what they were a couple of years ago, it is still maintaining low (inflation-adjusted)

What now for the Bekaa

Reading Time: 5 minutes Residents in the border town of Majdal Anjar broke a jar the moment the last Syrian soldier left Lebanese soil. It is a local ritual to signify that something has ended once and for all. But while the general atmosphere in the Bekaa is one of great relief and hope for a better future, it

It’s the Economy, Stupid

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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

Reading Time: 12 minutes 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