LEBANON: GOING DOWN


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As we state in our “Geopolitical Update,” credit rating firm Fitch warns that Lebanon is likely to default on its debt, as the fractured government cannot quell the political and financial crisis that has brought protesters into the streets of Beirut since October.
The protests, sparked by rising unemployment, government corruption, and financial mismanagement, are intensifying.
More than 40 protesters were injured on 15 December, as crowds pelted security forces with bottles and rocks.
The prime minister resigned in late October, and political parties are still unable to coalesce around a new government.
Fitch downgraded Lebanon’s credit rating in August and did so again last week, dropping it from Triple C to Double C, indicating “a very high level of risk.”
The country’s central bank already owes more dollars in foreign exchange than it has in its foreign currency reserves.

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