Published: July 16, 2010
Lebanon’s top banks are in fine health. That’s good news – their government needs them. Tim Burke reports.
Leave it to Lebanon to flip one of the most common relationships from the economic crisis on its head. Governments propping up and bailing out their countries’ banking sectors has been a regular occurrence during the downturn, but in Lebanon it’s the banks that have lent the government a hand, buying sovereign debt to help fund high public spending. By the end of April some US$29bn of the Lebanese banking sector’s US$121bn consolidated balance sheet comprised public-sector debt.