Leaders articles

Protect the past, plan for the future

Protect the past, plan for the future

The World Cup is arguably the most viewed sporting spectacle and social event worldwide. So when Jennifer Lopez opened this year’s games dressed by Lebanese designer Charbel Zoe and accessorized by Lebanese jeweler Yeprem, it proved that Lebanon’s luxury designers compete at the pinnacle of their professions. Even before that, the likes of Elie Saab

Please, steal our money

Although it’s been nearly 18 months since Lebanon’s first licensing round for oil and gas exploration was launched, its closing date has been postponed four times — each time pushing back exploration and potential exploitation of the coveted resources. But despite the numerous opportunities afforded by these delays, the country’s nongovernmental organizations have barely feigned

While Rome burns

A good way to judge the efficacy of a proposed solution is to ask how, if implemented, it would alter the outcome of a situation. By this metric, the Ministry of Energy and Water’s (MoEW) proposed solution to Lebanon’s water shortage fails miserably. The plan roughly amounts to the following: households should use less water

Banks’ new dilemma

For years, big Lebanese banks have operated under a cushy deal: finance government debt, and be rewarded with a handsome profit. While this arrangement has been arguably necessary, it has also led to an unwarranted level of risk aversion and capital hoarding in the sector — notably harming the development of business startups, who are

Fiscal follies

With the World Cup just having finished, Lebanese fans were glued to their television sets savoring each fantastic goal and glorious football moment. But many missed the opening matches: they hadn’t purchased expensive subscriptions from Sama or MK Electronics-Echosat, the exclusive providers for land, internet and satellite viewing of the World Cup in Lebanon. Last minute

Early photo of the Port of Santos, Brazil 1907 LERC Archives, Roberto Khatlab Collection

A home for everyone

One striking feature about the Lebanese–Brazilian community is how divided they are on the topic of the land of their forefathers. Older Lebanese–Brazilians or those whose families emigrated in recent decades tend to be deeply attached to their mother country. They will follow the news and have opinions about the region, even if they have

Fiscal flood

People may like to think otherwise, but the majority of catastrophes throw very visible shadows ahead. For example, most floods can be foretold by analyzing the human impact on terrain and studying long-term weather patterns. Prudent preparations can be made to help avert the worst outcomes. In 2016, Lebanon will face a rising tide of

Double taDouble taxation will kill the banksxation

Don’t kill the banks

In order to fund the proposed public sector wage hike, Lebanon’s Parliament is scrounging for cash. In their desperation, lawmakers have proposed one of the most morally hazardous ideas in public finance: taxing some profits twice. Not only is this an unfair idea, it is fiscally irresponsible and blatantly lacking in forethought. Double taxation is

Lebanese President Michel Sleiman reviews the honor guard as he leaves the presidential palace in Baabda on May 24, 2014

Let the people decide

In 1811, French philosopher Joseph de Maistre wrote that “every nation gets the government it deserves.” Clearly, our nation deserves better than what it has at the moment. Parliament has yet again failed the Lebanese people by not electing a president before the expiration of Michel Sleiman’s term. One role of MPs is to deliberate,

A protester holds up a sign "#NoLawNoVote"

Open the doors of Parliament

There is an old British adage about the frustrations of everyday life. “You wait an hour for a bus,” the saying goes, “and then three come along all at once.” In the first week of April, after going over a year without passing a single bill, Lebanon’s expired Parliament reconvened and jolted the body politic