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Zafiris Tzannatos, senior consultant for Development Strategy and Social Policy and senior fellow at LCPS


May 2020
The IMF in Lebanon: Will This Time Be Different?

In May 2019, former Lebanese Minister of Finance Ali Hasan Khalil stated that the government should consider debt restructuring that was followed by a sharp decline in the price of the sovereign bonds. Bank Audi stated in its quartely report that “there [was] still room for a soft-landing scenario in public finance conditions rather than harmful measures with long-lasting adverse effects such as devaluation or debt restructuring.” Half a year later, massive devaluation has turned into reality and Lebanon is bankrupt.
 
The day after receiving the parliament’s vote of confidence on 12 February 2020, the government asked the IMF to provide “advice” on how to handle the crisis to which, as expected, the IMF response was that “any decisions on debt are the authorities’, to be made in consultation with their own legal and financial advisors”. Less than a month later on 9 March, Lebanon joined the unenvious group of countries that have defaulted on their debt, the first in its history.[1] On 30 April, the government published its Economic Plan and only a day after, it signed the official request for IMF assistance. The Economic Plan recognizes, among other factors, that the country cannot continue alone and the IMF’s presence is inevitable, the central bank is insolvent, a debt moratorium and restructuring are necessary, and the sacred stability of its national currency has to change.
 
Simple arithmetic applied to the last two decades shows how Lebanon reached where it is today, a situation that surpasses by far the gravest of all cases in modern history, even that of Greece during the 2010s. Budget deficits have averaged more than 11% since 1999, resulting in a debt-to-GDP ratio of over 150% last year that has since increased by another 8% (from $85 billion to $92 billion). Imports have been more than 400% higher than exports for decades, fueled by its fixed exchange rate whose effects have been aggravated by regular injections of “helicopter money” paid by donors in return for promised reforms by politicians who never implemented them to any significant extent. The foreign currency gross reserves have dwindled from 62% of the central bank’s assets in 1999 to 22% by late 2019.[2]
 
The future is bleak. It will involve long and deep fiscal austerity, capital controls, deposit haircuts and further devaluations than what The Economic Plan foresaw less than a week ago: Its optimistic depreciation of the Lebanese pound by 60% to a LBP 3,684/dollar rate over the next two years (changing from 1,507/dollar since 1997) is already less than the current rate of LBP 4,300/dollar in the parallel foreign exchange market, and some feel that it could bottom at LBP 10,000/dollar within months. The expected effect on the GDP is off the chart: In the next two to three years, its decline could reach 50% of its 2019 dollar level and may not regain its lost ground until 2043.[3] The World Bank is projecting that the poverty rate will reach 40% by the end of this year, but the Ministry of the Economy has updated this number to 50%.
 
A very painful fiscal consolidation and structural adjustment lies ahead for Lebanon. It remains to be seen whether it will avoid the failures of many countries that have gone through similar crises and have little to show sometimes after decades. In many cases such attempts have been taken with the IMF’s involvement, whose conditions have been charged since the 1980s to be “ineffectual, inefficient and mistargeted.” Argentina is a case in point where the IMF has been involved on 21 occasions and holds $44 billion of the country’s $100 billion debt that still is in need of renegotiation.[4] However, should failures be attributed to “the medicine or the patient”? It is not uncommon that the same politicians entrusted to take a country out of a crisis are the ones who have created it in the first place and who wary dismantling the system that sustains them.[5]
 
The government’s economic plan is already on the table. It remains to be seen whether the program that will be eventually agreed with the IMF will be “gradual and soft” or “sharp and short”,[6] though it will be neither soft nor short by any usual metric.
 
While the dialogue and negotiations between Lebanon and its lenders proceed, this brief summarizes lessons learned from recent international experiences on what can work and what does not. It highlights four previous cases in which the IMF was involved: Three of them can be labeled as successful adjustment countries, namely South Korea, Latvia, and Portugal, noting that that all three, unlike Lebanon, are high income countries with relatively robust governance structure. The remaining country, Greece, is closer to Lebanon in terms of the size of its fiscal imbalances and weak governance, and is included as a negative example.
 
Recent International Experiences with IMF Programs
 
South Korea, 1997:  From bankruptcy to a rebounding tiger
 
South Korea was the hardest hit economy in the 1997 Asian financial crisis. It received the biggest IMF bailout until Greece later surpassed it. The causes were many amounting to a perfect storm affecting the real sector, banks, securities, and the foreign exchange market in an environment that favored loans to large conglomerates on political grounds.[7] The conditions were ripe for a speculative attack on the South Korean currency, the Won, which proved to be successful and brought the country to its knees.
 
After tough negotiations, the government agreed on and implemented reductions in public expenditures and increases in revenues. The ensuing austerity drew the country into a deep recession—by almost one-third of GDP—and the Won lost more than half of its value reaching more than 1,700/dollar, compared to the original rate of around 800/dollar. In addition to fiscal consolidation, it swiftly adopted measures that led to trade and capital account liberalization, increased the oversight of the banking sector, enhanced domestic competitiveness by reducing monopolistic practices and corruption, removed the 26% ceiling in foreign investments, and improved corporate governance.[8] The program was a textbook application of what was then known as the “Washington Consensus” and was heavily criticized at the time, and especially later on during the 2008 global financial crisis when monetary policies in the West deviated from those prescribed in South Korea, the banks were bailed out and debt was allowed to rise. Still, the country adhered to the agreed measures and quickly got back to a sustainable economic growth. In this particular IMF program two additional things stood out.
 
First, with the support of the World Bank, the program addressed in many ways the expected adverse effects on the social sectors.[9] For workers, it secured the necessary funds to cover unpaid wages in companies that went bankrupt and introduced unemployment benefits for those who lost their jobs. For the poor and vulnerable citizens, it defined a consistent poverty line, guaranteed the real value of benefits over time, and provided increased public resources for funding such benefits when poverty rates increased. It also introduced a non-contributory social pension to be paid from the general budget to the elderly poor who had not previously worked. Finally, it extended labor rights to workers, including women, by removing discriminatory clauses in the labor code.
 
Second, from a governance perspective, the program included institutional reforms. Though some of the measures have been met with criticism, it strengthened the legal and regulatory infrastructures including prudential regulations, rehabilitated the financial institutions, introduced partial deposit insurance, promoted capital account liberalization, and strengthened corporate governance of financial institutions. The government also aimed to reduce market corruption and has since prosecuted and imprisoned leading members of the economic elite. In the social field, the program placed the pension fund under tripartite control—government, employers, and workers—and required social insurance reforms to be subjected to mandatory actuarial studies. This reduced the ability of the government to overspend by depleting the reserves of the social security fund—not an uncommon practice especially in Latin America in the 1980s.
 
Latvia, 2008: Quick recovery of the hardest hit East European country
 
Between 2004 and 2007, Latvia encountered an unsustainable economic expansion and unrealistic appreciation in real estate values, like in Lebanon from 2006 until the early 2010s. It then became the hardest hit East European country after the 2008 global financial crisis. By 2010, it lost 25% of its GDP, the deficit reached 22%, and unemployment rose from 5.4% to 22.5%, which was then the highest rate in the European Union.[10] Unlike Lebanon, the fact that one-in-four residents in Latvia are ethnic Russians in a social mosaic composed of Orthodox, Protestants and Catholics did not matter much. While Latvia’s crisis was under way, Paul Krugman in his Nobel lecture compared the case of Latvia to Argentina,[11] which he characterized as one of the worst cases of crisis and mismanagement of economic adjustment,[12] and predicted that “in all indications it will be many years before they make up the lost ground.”
 
Despite this assessment and these initial conditions, following a change in government in 2009, the new Prime Minister reached an agreement on the stabilization program not just with the IMF but also with trade unions and employers. The government fired one-third of the civil servants and closed half of the state agencies. It prohibited civil servants from having supplementary salaries while ministers had their salaries cut by 35%. The deficit was reduced not by raising taxes but by drastically reducing expenditures to 36% of GDP from a high of 44% before the crisis.
 
In 2011, GDP grew by 5.5% and a further 3.5% in 2012. Latvia was taken off the negative list of rating companies and its growth rate stood at 4.8% in 2018. The unemployment rate was more than halved at a level below the EU average that was then at 9%.
 
Portugal, 2011: Fixing the roof with social dialogue and an independent judiciary
 
The former chief economist of the IMF, Olivier Blanchard, noted in 2006 that “[t]he Portuguese economy is in serious trouble: Productivity growth is anemic. Growth is very low. The budget deficit is large. The current account deficit is very large.”[13] The 2008 financial crisis made things worse for Portugal as it was unable to devaluate being a member of the eurozone. In May 2011, the government agreed to a program with the IMF and the European Union to get out of its economic crisis.
 
Like South Korea and Latvia, Portugal came out of the crisis within two years. Economic growth resumed from late 2013 and unemployment started decreasing in early 2014. Like in Latvia, the high unemployment rate during the crisis (16%) has more than halved to below 7%.
 
Portugal’s experience with adjustment has two additional characteristics of relevance.
 
First, unlike the previous two cases—and Lebanon—the government correctly realized that the country was heading into the wrong direction and started taking measures for more than a decade before the crisis struck. The domestically devised policies implemented prior to the adjustment program included public sector reforms and infrastructure improvements, private sector restructuring toward the tradable sectors, an increase of links with global production chains, and easier access to credit along with improvements in the banking sector. Obviously these reforms never reached the level of the quantum leap required to avert the crisis. However, they paved the way for a smoother adjustment and prepared the country to reboot when the austerity-induced effects were over. This brings to mind former IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde’s words “fix the roof while the sun is still shining.”[14]
 
Second, dialogue with those mainly concerned—basically private sector and workers representatives—was effectively maintained, during, and after the crisis. While full consensus often proved elusive, the social partners were consulted on most decisions affecting pay and employment adjustments. For example, employers and workers managed to agree that minimum wages should be preserved.
 
Admittedly, Portugal was helped by the presence of credible institutions, such as its independent judiciary. For instance, the Constitutional Court annulled hastily introduced measures by the government during the crisis.[15] A significant court decision in this respect was the reversal of reforms that invalidated agreements freely and collectively determined by employers and workers.
 
In this respect, the not uncommon but often untested belief that a country can regain international competitiveness through cuts in wages and curtailing social dialogue was proven wrong by Portugal. Instead, its approach protected the working poor, reduced the impact of the recession, and softened the impact of adjustment though its social safety net. Unsurprisingly, the World Economic Forum ranks Portugal first in the world in terms of institutional inclusiveness with Greece, discussed below, being 40th out of the 82 countries studied.[16]
 
Greece, 2020: The perils of treating insolvency as illiquidity
 
Greece stands against the previous three cases. The debt, budget deficit, and structural defects had not only reached exorbitant levels but had for long been hidden by cooked data from various governments. When reality hit, the size, bureaucratic complexity, and clientelism of the public sector were unmasked along with all the restrictive business practices that hamstrung the private sector. When the crisis started in late 2009, political parties fought for office instead of facing the crisis from a united national position. Trade unions had no intention to engage in a constructive dialogue on what they saw as a threat to acquired rights from self-serving practices benefiting their members but not those in the large informal sector. In the Greek case, economics was only part of the problem. The bigger problems were political paralysis, macroeconomic mismanagement, and corruption—though on a smaller scale than in Lebanon.
 
Initially, the IMF, to its credit, refused to come on board probably also because of its then recent botched involvement in Argentina. It was clear that Greece was insolvent, not illiquid. This called for debt restructuring and significant write-offs that the EU was reluctant to accept. Like in Lebanon, in an attempt to avoid the crisis happening on their watch, Greek politicians started promising reforms that were unlikely to materialize but were warmly accepted by the EU in order to avert an imminent collapse of the euro as well as the German and French banks that were the main holders of Greek bonds. Thus, Greece was classified as illiquid—instead of insolvent—and this gave the green light to an immediate, in name only, bail-out.
 
Already in its very first supervision mission, the IMF stated the obvious about the effects of the outrageously ill-designed program that was proposed by the elected Greek politicians: The program had succeeded in one respect and had failed in another. More specifically, the program succeeded in its European objective to serve “as a holding operation” and to give the eurozone time to build a firewall to protect itself against a Greek sovereign default. The euro had been saved.
 
The second conclusion of the IMF’s assessment was that “the assumptions of the program were proven to be too optimistic,” an IMF euphemism that Greece was back to where it started. The country had not been saved but needed three more programs that were introduced sporadically and were applied spasmodically each correcting the omissions and errors of the previous ones.[17] Until the Lebanese crisis shows its full effects, Greece can globally claim one of the longest—nearly 10 years—and deepest recessions with the loss of 25% of GDP and the highest unemployment rate in Europe, that peaked at more than 65% among the youth.[18]
 
Does the blame in the Greek case go to the IMF that made a valid assessment of insolvency and initially refused to be part of the rescue effort? Or does it go to the government that overpromised in hope of staying in power by kicking the can down the road, like Lebanon has done for more than two decades? Both countries have received disproportional international financial support over the years but failed to address their mounting structural problems.
 
What Makes a Program Successful?
 
The above cases point to four prerequisites for a successful debt restructuring and structural adjustment, in addition to the availability of timely and reliable data that should be presented with honesty. The latter is particularly relevant for Lebanon where timely or even basic statistics are lacking, assuming that whatever existing data are presented accurately.
 
It should have clear strategy and objectives from the beginning
South Korea, Latvia, and Portugal had one program and implemented it in a consistent and timely manner no matter how harsh it might have been. In Greece the strategy was driven by the short-term goal of political survival: Politicians engaged in a “cat and mouse” game with its financiers and ignored the long-term implications of their actions for their citizens and country.
 
It should have sound economic foundations
The program should be grounded on a correct diagnosis of the problems the country faces and not on untested prior ideological beliefs. More specifically, it should assess whether the crisis is due to macroeconomic mismanagement (including corruption), inappropriate monetary policy, distorted exchange rates, lax financial regulations, or labor market problems. If they are the latter, the program should assess whether these arise from inflexible employment protection regulations and trade unions or a moribund uncompetitive private sector that does not create jobs.[19]
 
It should not compromise on public investments
Public investments with high future returns, both physical and social, need to be protected, as they are one of the main drivers of future economic growth. They can be funded from expenditure switching away from unproductive spending, and the energy sector in Lebanon is a prime example of this. Even if maintaining—or even increasing—public investments could undermine fiscal consolidation in the short-run, this should be examined against crowding-in private investments in the medium-term and their long-term effects on growth. Lebanon should break away from its established practice of increasing public sector salaries, as it did as recently as in 2018, thus chocking other public investments and social services.
 
It should derive from transparent social dialogue
The program should be attentive to the feelings and voices of the citizens, offer protection to the poor and vulnerable, and be met with social acceptance. Unlike South Korea and Portugal, Greece engaged in an indiscriminate reduction in social benefits, pensions, and public services. It also engaged in a senseless increase in taxation that closed hundreds of thousands of small enterprises—partly on the premise that tax evasion was mainly due to non-compliance by the large informal sector. Yet its informal economy is estimated to be at 27% of GDP (in Latvia it was nearly 30%).[20] Tax evasion is fiscally and morally condemnable but cutting spending can be less harmful to growth than raising taxes.[21]
 
What Can Lebanon Do?
 
A core demand by Lebanese citizens is regime change. However, from Afghanistan to Yemen and from Iraq to Syria and previously from Ethiopia and Iran to Egypt and many former Soviet Republics, regime change has been neither easy nor what many citizens fought for. In any case, Lebanon might have had such an opportunity in 2014 that was wasted like many others with the unprecedented political decision to extend the parliament’s term without new elections—a practice found in countries run by lifelong dictators. In this context, the fact that the 2018 parliamentary elections brought back to power the same political parties is probably a detail.
 
Moreover, regime change needs to be followed by nation building—something that Lebanon has failed to achieve for decades, with sectarian allegiance taking precedence over national identity. All in all, it remains to be seen whether the same political elite that created a crisis would be able to solve it and give up sectarianism, nepotism, corruption, and clientelism, all at once.
 
Leaving political considerations aside, Lebanon is faced with the herculean task to do a lot that has not been done for decades and, given the size of the crisis, do it quicker and better than the four countries reviewed in this paper all of which are high income and have much better governance. Areas that will finally be included in the rescue program will most likely include nothing less than the deficit and debt, the overvalued currency, privatization, the negative balance of payment, a bankrupt banking sector, mistargeted public spending, tax evasion, rentier private sector, poor waste management, water scarcity and electricity subsidies, to name a few.
 
In addition, there should be provisions to cushion the social impact, including loss of employment and other earnings opportunities, capital controls that have limited access to citizens’ savings, brain drain that has accelerated, and rising inflation that had reached 10% by February.[22] As if this was not enough, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to add more to the challenge. Its effects are globally debated among epidemiologists and economists though some things are more certain than others including that inflation in Lebanon has accelerated since February.[23]
 
The political impact of reforms is uncertain but their economic and social impact will be enormous. Should the IMF be blamed for what will follow, as it is suggested by the way the original invitation to the IMF for “technical assistance” was initially met with domestically?[24] A judgment on this will have to be deferred until the final program is agreed on, though some early assessments indicate that it will be a complicated maze of painful policy trade-offs.[25] Until then, one cannot but recall that Lebanon has repeatedly promised to avert what has become inevitable in several meetings in Paris, Rome, Brussels, and all over the GCC. Just in the 2018 CEDRE conference, more than 120 reforms were promised with little follow up. And if one wants to go further into the past, one has only to look at the numerous diagnostic reports and policy and sector loans the World Bank and others have provided with proposals for reforming public expenditures, the energy sector, water, pensions, the social safety net, and the labor market, among other things.
 
From its side, the IMF should endeavor to be accurate in its forecasts and refrain from being optimistic—an understandable practice as proven wrong in the other direction can create self-fulfilling recessions. The government’s Economic Plan reflects ownership and apparent commitment and can serve as the basis for a credible assessment in consultation with the social partners and citizens.[26] And leaving aside usual courtesies found in the Article IV consultations, such as commending “the Banque du Liban for maintaining financial stability” as recently as of October 2019, the IMF can put the money where its mouth is following its call “to protect the most vulnerable people, Directors [of the IMF] underscored the need for a stronger social safety net.”[27]
 
All in all, it has to be recognized that Lebanon is effectively “a child that cannot be asked to run a marathon”. And children can be forgiven for their mistakes but should not repeat them. It is hoped this time that the government will implement what it will commit to do. But if it does, will the citizens accept it? Paraphrasing Mark Twain “it is difficult to make predictions, particularly about regime change”.
 
 
 
The author wishes to thank, without implicating, Sami Atallah, Ishac Diwan, and Micheline Tobia for comments and suggestions on an earlier version.

[1] Hassan Sherry. 2020. “Lebanon’s Sovereign Default: Turning Misfortunes into Opportunities.” https://eurodad.org/Entries/view/1547150/2020/03/19/Lebanon-s-sovereign-default-Turning-misfortunes-into-opportunities
[2] The data are from: Byblos Bank. 2020. ‘Lebanon This Week.’ Issue 630 (April 27- May 2). Beirut; Mora, N. 2020. ‘It’s Not Too Late to Find a Way Out of Lebanon’s Financial Crisis.’ ERF Policy Portal, Cairo. May 5. http://theforum.erf.org.eg/2020/05/05/not-late-find-way-lebanons-financial-crisis/
[3] Bisat, A. 2020. ‘The Government Economic Plan: A Complicated Maze of Policy Trade-offs.’ Lebanese Center for Policy Studies. http://lcps-lebanon.org/featuredArticle.php?id=296
[4] The Economist. 2020. ‘Argentina and the IMF: New Partners, Old Dance.’
[5] Mahmalat, M. and S. Atallah. 2019. ‘Recession Without Impact: Why Lebanese Elites Delay Reform.’ Lebanese Center for Policy Studies. https://www.lcps-lebanon.org/featuredArticle.php?id=248
[6] Bisat, A. 2020. ‘The Government Economic Plan: A Complicated Maze of Policy Trade-offs.’ Lebanese Center for Policy Studies. http://lcps-lebanon.org/featuredArticle.php?id=296
[7] Yul, K. O. 1998. ‘The Korean Financial Crisis: Diagnosis, Remedies and Prospects.’ Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, 3:3, 331-357. https://doi.org/10.1080/13547869808724656; Black, T. and S. Black. 1999. ‘The Korean Financial Crisis – Causes, Effects and Solutions.’ Policy. https://www.cis.org.au/app/uploads/2015/04/images/stories/policy-magazine/1999-autumn/1999-15-1-terry-black-susan-black.pdf
[8] IMF. 1997. ‘Korea Letter of Intent.’ December 3. https://www.imf.org/external/np/loi/120397.htm
[9] World Bank. 1998. ‘Proposed Structural Adjustment Loan in an Amount Equivalent to US$2.0 Billion to the Republic of Korea.’ Report No. P-7225-KO. March 19 http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/392161468273592871/pdf/multi0page.pdf
[10] Åslund, A. and V. Dombrovskis. 2011. ‘How Latvia Came Through the Financial Crisis.’ Washington DC: Peterson Institute for International Economics.
[11] The trouble with the creeping expropriation of depositors By Concerned Citizens, January 18, 2020 at file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/The-trouble-with-the-creeping-expropriation-of-depositors.pdf
[12] http://www.princeton.edu/~pkrugman/CRISES.pdf
[13] Blanchard, O. 2006. ‘Adjustment Within the Euro. The Difficult Case of Portugal.’ https://economics.mit.edu/files/740
[14] https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2018/04/09/spring-meetings-curtain-raiser-speech
[15] For a summary of labor measures introduced and challenged see: European Trade Union Institute. 2015. ‘Labour Law Reforms in Portugal - Background Summary.’ https://www.etui.org/ReformsWatch/Portugal/Labour-law-reforms-in-Portugal-background-summary
[16] WEF. 2020. ‘The Global Social Mobility Report 2020: Equality, Opportunity and a New Economic Imperative.’ http://www3.weforum.org/docs/Global_Social_Mobility_Report.pdf
[17] Tzannatos, Z. 2015. ‘The Greek Adjustment Programme: Fiscal Metrics without Economic Goals.’ in K. Papadakis and Y. Ghellab (eds.) ‘The Governance of Policy Reforms in Southern Europe and Ireland: Social Dialogue Actors and Institutions in Times of Crisis.’ Geneva: International Labour Organization.
[18] Tzannatos, Z. and Y. Monogios. 2012. ‘Public Sector Adjustment Amidst Structural Adjustment in Greece: Subordinate, Spasmodic and Sporadic’ in Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead (ed.), ‘Public Sector Adjustments in Europe: Scope, Effects and Policy issues.’ London: Edward Elgar.
[19] Diwan, I. and J. I. Haidar. 2020. ‘Cronyism Reduces Job Creation in Lebanon.’ VOX CEPR Policy Portal, January 18, at https://voxeu.org/article/cronyism-reduces-job-creation-lebanon
[20] Schneider, F. 2012. ‘The Shadow Economy and Work in the Shadow: What Do We (Not) Know?’ IZA Discussion Paper No. 6423 March 2012. http://ftp.iza.org/dp6423.pdf
[21] A recent study of 16 OECD countries that introduced 3,500 policy changes to reduce deficits concluded that an expenditure reduction of 1% of GDP was followed by a loss of about 0.5% of GDP growth that lasted less than two years. By contrast, a tax increase of 1% of GDP was followed by a 2% decline in GDP and this large recessionary effect lasts several years. Alesina, A., C. A. Favero, and F. Giavazzi. 2018. ‘Climbing Out of Debt.’ Finance & Development, March, Vol. 55, No. 1. https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2018/03/pdf/alesina.pdf
[22] https://blog.blominvestbank.com/32787/lebanons-inflation-rate-rose-aggressively-hitting-10-04-in-january-2020/;
[23] Chbeir, R. February 24, 2020. 'Lebanon’s Inflation Rate Rose Aggressively, Hitting 10.04% in January 2020.' Blom Invest Bank research blog. https://blog.blominvestbank.com/32787/lebanons-inflation-rate-rose-aggressively-hitting-10-04-in-january-2020/;
[24] New York Times. 2020. ‘IMF Deal Would Spark 'Popular Revolution' in Lebanon, Hezbollah Believes.’ https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/03/03/world/middleeast/03reuters-lebanon-crisis-hezbollah.html ; Reuters. 2020. ‘IMF Deal Seen as Only Way out for Lebanon.’ https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-crisis-imf-analysis/imf-deal-seen-as-only-way-out-for-lebanon-idUSKBN20R0SL
[25] Bisat. A. 2020. ‘The Government Economic Plan: A Complicated Maze of Policy Trade-offs.’ Lebanese Center for Policy Studies. http://lcps-lebanon.org/featuredArticle.php?id=296
[26] Lebanese Center for Policy Studies. 2019. ‘For an Emergency Economic Rescue Plan for Lebanon.’ https://www.lcps-lebanon.org/featuredArticle.php?id=254
[27] IMF. 2019. ‘Lebanon 2019 Article IV Consultation—Press Release; Staff Report; Informational Annex; And Statement by The Executive Director for Lebanon.’ IMF Country Report No. 19/312. October. file:///C:/Users/Zafiris/Downloads/1LBNEA2019001%20(3).pdf








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