Publication: Lebanon Economic Monitor, Fall 2022: Time for an Equitable Banking Resolution

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World Bank
The economy continues to contract, albeit at a somewhat slower pace. Public finances improved in 2021, but only because spending collapsed faster than revenue generation. Testament to the continued atrophy of Lebanon’s economy, the Lebanese Pound continues to depreciate sharply. The sharp deterioration in the currency continues to drive surging inflation, in triple digits since July 2020, impacting the poor and vulnerable the most. An unprecedented institutional vacuum will likely further delay any agreement on crisis resolution and much needed reforms; this includes prior actions as part of the April 2022 International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff-level agreement (SLA). Divergent views among key stakeholders on how to distribute the financial losses remains the main bottleneck for reaching an agreement on a comprehensive reform agenda. Lebanon needs to urgently adopt a domestic, equitable, and comprehensive solution that is predicated on: (i) addressing upfront the balance sheet impairments, (ii) restoring liquidity, and (iii) adhering to sound global practices of bail-in solutions based on a hierarchy of creditors (starting with banks’ shareholders) that protects small depositors.
World Bank. 2022. Lebanon Economic Monitor, Fall 2022: Time for an Equitable Banking Resolution. © Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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