Opinion articles

Questions on data, policy design, and usefulness of assumptions

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 people have the right to know and the capacity to contribute to their economic rescue

Reading Time: 7 minutes Three men in suits, with the carefully groomed looks of advanced-middle-age males, stand on Beirut’s landmark cliff and contemplate the mysteries of the sea that looms some 150 feet below them. One is a reputed banking economist, one a famous government technocrat, and one, with a much cheaper suit, the driver/bodyguard that brought them to

Doomed to repeat?

Reading Time: 2 minutes When I was a kid, around five or six years old, I had two neighbors, Dalal and Claude. I was fascinated by them; I wanted to be like them. They were maybe 16 or 17 years old, and what they did in 1975 was grab white flags and head to Downtown Beirut to chase the

Lebanon needs a national strategy for education

Reading Time: 4 minutes The academic year 2019-2020 has been the most dysfunctional one Lebanon has experienced in recent memory. It has also highlighted discrepancies in the quality of education that high-income families have access to versus that which low income families can afford. This inequality needs to be addressed and rectified if Lebanon is to place its hope

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

In pictures: Protests and clashes in Downtown Beirut

Reading Time: 2 minutes On June 6, thousands of protesters gathered in Downtown Beirut starting at 3 p.m. in the largest protest since the COVID-19 lockdown went into force. Demonstrators were protesting the impacts of the ongoing economic and coronavirus crises that have seen the value of the local currency plummet. Initial peaceful protests soon became heated as supporters

RAMCO strike a key moment for labor rights in Lebanon

Reading Time: 3 minutes In early April, about 400 foreign employees of RAMCO, a Lebanese construction, facility, and waste management company, went on strike to demand payment in US dollars and better working conditions. The strike, believed to be the first of its kind among foreign laborers in Lebanon, could set an example for other groups of workers demanding

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

UNESCO survey exploring remote learning experiences during COVID-19 lockdowns

Reading Time: 6 minutes According to the initial results from a May survey being administered by the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States (UNESCO Beirut Office), more than half of the parents of schoolchildren in the Arab region consider current online studying (whether using an online platform, mobile application, etc.) to be “inefficient” when compared to

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