A “political game”… Experts reveal the secret of the dollar’s decline in Lebanon

While the dollar has been declining in relation to the exchange rate of the lira for more than two weeks, commodity prices are still steadily rising, while experts in politics and economics believe that “there is a political interest to reduce the price of the dollar, especially as it is coming to a period of elections and nominations.”

Banking risk expert Muhammad Fahili does not consider that the dollar has fallen, for “there is a dollar on the official (exchange) platform and another on the black market, and there is the dollar that has the most impact on the Lebanese consumer, on the basis of which consumer goods are priced, and which, with the recognition of the Ministry of Economy through special inspection campaigns, It still ranges between 33,000 and 35,000 pounds.”

Fahaili added to “Sky News Arabia”: “This means that this is the real dollar in the market, regardless of the sweet talk distributed by the monetary authority, to suggest to the citizen that it was able to intervene in the market and contribute to the decline in the price of the dollar.”

And he added: “What is happening is a fictitious and circumstantial decline as a result of engineering practices carried out by the Banque du Liban to sacrifice a quantity of dollars in the monetary market simultaneously, but the real dollar price that is affected by the Lebanese citizen remains the one approved by the merchants, so I do not think that the dollar has decreased in Lebanon. The trader is the main indicator on this matter and he is still convinced that the dollar will rise, so he does not have the courage to lower the price of his commodities.”

The economist said: “It has been noticed recently that the instability in the dollar exchange market continues to fluctuate with the decline, although this relative decline costs the Central Bank of Lebanon a lot of foreign currency reserves available to it, which it puts in the market to lower the price. This rapid fluctuation confuses the The trader does not help to stabilize prices.”

political goals

On the other hand, the expert in economic affairs, journalist and economic analyst, Munir Younes, believes that the dollar’s reaching the threshold of 33,000 pounds and above has confused the Lebanese, including politicians.

Younis told “Sky News Arabia” that the dollar’s price “decreased after an agreement was reached between Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on the one hand, and the Governor of the Banque du Liban Riad Salameh on the other hand, to reduce the exchange rate of the dollar, when the latter told them that He will have to exchange from the reserve balance, which is the remainder of the depositors’ money in the Banque du Liban, so he was given the green light and entered the exchange market to pump more than $500 million last month through circular No. 161, which allowed employees to receive their salaries in dollars from banks, but at a price (exchange) platform.

He added, “It is natural that pumping dollars into the market is offset by the absorption of the pound by a large amount, and an imbalance occurred, as there are many dollars in exchange for few pounds, which led to a decrease in the exchange rate of the dollar from 33 thousand pounds to about 21 thousand.”

And Yunus added: “On the other hand, the 2022 budget that is under preparation was built on the price of 20 thousand pounds to the dollar, so it was necessary to bring the price closer to this level in addition to the intention of the Governor of the Banque du Liban to cancel the black market, so that the black market price becomes a platform price ( exchange) managed by the Banque du Liban.

He concluded: “The current objectives of decreasing the dollar exchange rate are primarily political to give people an illusory impression that the political authority controls the economic situation while it is under control, and this is offset by a greater danger, which is a drain from the hard currency reserves in the Banque du Liban, and if this game continues, more than one billion may be spent. A dollar from the reserves from today until the date of the elections, and even if the price of the dollar drops to 20 thousand pounds, the loss of the Lebanese pound will remain about 90 percent of its basic value, which is the value it was equal to before the current economic crisis.”

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