Lebanon’s oligarchs crashed the economy, now they’re making the people pay

It is not hard to guess who benefited from Lebanon’s failed economic model, and who contributed to the economic collapse that Lebanon has suffered in the last 11 months. 

The country’s crippling debt as well as its trade deficit have been growing thanks to decisions made by governments, approved by parliaments, and in some cases made possible through the financial wizardry of the central bank (BdL) leadership. The BdL has been on its own journey of accumulating further debt to allow the political and economic survival of the establishment. 

Although the economy grew, a disproportionately high share of the pie went to the top one percent, favouring most of all the banks and real estate speculators, at the expense of most of their counterparts in productive sectors. Corruption was made into a mode of governance, trickling down to every level of public administration and the private sector.

Since the crisis started, however, it is not those profiteers who have paid for their risky investments and their exploitation of our society’s wealth and labour. On the contrary, the rich and politically favoured have been able to pull their money out of Lebanon while the rest of us could not access our modest savings in the banks. And what did the people’s supposed representatives do about it?

Read the full article at The New Arab