Lebanon can ill-afford a lengthy period without a government. It has done so in the past, but confidence in the shaky economy is already low. Moreover, fears are growing of another war with Israel, given that Israel is continuing to bomb Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria, and has begun blowing up what it says are Hezbollah tunnels on the Lebanese border. Such fears risk weakening the flow of remittances that Lebanon relies on to finance its fiscal deficit. This could ultimately see the country default on its debt, which in comparison with GDP has one of the largest ratios in the world. Institutions such as the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development have pledged to help with $11bn in soft loans and grants. But without a government, Lebanon will fail to enact the reforms required to unlock the money. But the risk is that the bickering over cabinet seats continues into 2019, and that the economy collapses before a government can be formed.