Don’t mess with Salameh and Central Bank of Lebanon


riad salamehThe demand for the US dollar rose against the Lebanese pound on Friday , forcing Banque du Liban to cover for that, according to a  Saturday report by  the al-Joumhouria daily   .

This development came after Economy Minister Mansour Bteish  who represents  the Free Patriotic Movement in the government, criticized Lebanon  Central Bank Governor Salameh’s “financial engineering” tactics.

“So far we have not seen a comprehensive report that clarifies the operations that the central bank has conducted under the ‘financial engineering’ label. What are these operations? Why are they being conducted? What is the cost? Have they achieved their targets? And what is their impact on the economy and the treasury?,”  Bteish was quoted as saying .

Bteish’s  criticism  was met with great resentment, “in view of the worsening financial and economic crises,” said the daily.

Sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, denounced the “fabricated campaign” against Salameh, “nothing justifies this rhetoric neither in timing nor in substance,” they said.

“The campaign would suspiciously send a very negative message abroad, especially to the international donors or those involved in the CEDRE Conference,” they said.

Political sources said everyone is waiting for President Michel Aoun to correct the position of a minister from his own FPM Movement, mainly that

Salameh had reportedly visited the presidential palace and met with President Michel Aoun   less than 48 hours .

Aoun is the founder of FPM which is now headed by his son-in-law Foreign minister Gebran Bassil .

It appears that that FPM is after the VP Governor position and has proposed 2 names that the Governor expressed reservations about .

This is the only viable institution in Lebanon . If it was not for Salameh the Lebanese currency would have been by now worthless.

In 2017    Riad Salameh was ranked among the top governors in the world. Salameh managed to maintain the economic stability of Lebanon despite the situation in the country and neighboring regions. According to the World Bank, the GDP in Lebanon grew by 2.5% in 2017. Also, the Governor protected the value of the Lebanese pound and kept it stable.

In 2008 the year  all financial markets sank  if it wasn’t  for Salameh’s tactics , Lebanon would have been in a terrible financial shape . He was invited to NASDAQ in New York because of the respect he earned for the tactics he employed in 2008 and the preceding years

The Lebanese pound has been pegged at 1,507.5 to the dollar for two decades and Salameh  is the only reason it remained stable. Our only advise to all the Lebanese politicians starting with Bteish and ending in Aoun  :  Don’t mess with Salameh. If you do then the Central bank of Lebanon will become like all the failed institutions in Lebanon starting with the  electricity file  and ending in the Garbage file .

2019 Ya Liban Editorial