Lebanon’s Currency Plunges to 100K Against US Dollar

    Photo: AFP [via Al Arabiya News]

    The Facts

    • Lebanon's currency, the Lebanese pound (LBP), reached a new low on Tuesday, hitting 100K LBP to the US dollar on the parallel market, which operates outside of the official bank rates.

    • The LBP was hovering around 60K to the dollar on the parallel market in late January but has rapidly depreciated since then, as banks went on strike last month over judicial measures against lenders, such as requiring them to honor the old exchange rate when paying out customers' dollar deposits.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    The lira is dead, and Lebanon's utterly incompetent political class killed it. It's been over three years since the economic crisis began, and yet there hasn't been a single meaningful reform to the Lebanese economy or banking sector. The ruling elite has no incentive to help Lebanon's people, as they are profiting from the country's continued decline. A new currency will have to be implemented, but no one knows when that may occur.

    Narrative B

    Though there are many who like to pretend that all of Lebanon's political forces are to blame for its current problems, there's only one true source of Lebanon's troubles: Hezbollah. Iran now occupies Lebanon with an iron fist, and consequently, the country has been ruined like all the other countries in which Iran has intervened. The situation in Lebanon will only improve once Iran and Hezbollah have been kicked out of the country.

    Narrative C

    Hezbollah is one of the only positive forces in Lebanon. Besides the fact that it has defended the country from Israeli aggression on multiple occasions, the group has made a concerted effort to cross sectarian lines and work with other communities to help the country. Lebanon's collapse is due to Western meddling, which has made life for the average Lebanese even harder.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 1% chance that Lebanon will come under French rule again before 2025, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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