Lebanon’s crisis turns violent

Summary: Popular protest in Lebanon turns violent as anger grows with the failure of the government and the financial sector to resolve a worsening crisis.

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1 thought on “Lebanon’s crisis turns violent”

  1. I do not have an up-to-date figure for Lebanon’s external (and USD-denominated) sovereign debt but I assume from the latest figures I do have that it will be between USD35bn and USD40bn – around 60% of GDP. Certainly I have had a number of investors asked me in the past few weeks if there is likely to be an IMF programme, at least implying that the investor community believes such is probably necessary if a default on externals is to be avoided. My personal view is that an agreement with the IMF is unlikely given the de facto absence of any government let alone one willing or able to agree to the sort of terms which the IMF would likely insist on in return for a bail-out. Additionally there is the complication of Washington’s hard line with Tehran; would the US, which has a blocking vote at the Fund, support a bail-out which would, presumably, aid Tehran’s key ally in the region, ie Hizbollah?

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