The main entrance of the Banque du Liban (BDL) Photo credit: Libnanews.com, all rights reserved
The main entrance of the Banque du Liban (BDL) Photo credit: Libnanews.com, all rights reserved

The Bank of Lebanon indicates that 2 million dollars are exchanged daily at the rate of 15,000 LL / USD on the Sayrafa electronic platform. These operations are carried out by local banks and official stockbrokers.

As a reminder, the exchange rate on the black market is 18,275 LL / USD when buying and 18,325 LL / USD when selling. This market is estimated today at more than 8 million dollars daily.

The Lebanese pound thus lost more than 90% of its value against the official exchange rate of 1507 LL / USD, causing a significant loss of purchasing power for the population. Thus, the minimum wage is now around $ 30 versus $ 460 2 years earlier, and the median wage is around $ 100 versus $ 1,500, again 2 years earlier.

Faced with this situation, one of the conditions for the release of aid from the International Monetary Fund would be linked to the unification of the various exchange rates. Thus, the official exchange rate could be aligned with the Sayrafa rate and then the pound could float freely against foreign currencies, for lack of sufficient monetary reserves to allow the intervention of the Bank of Lebanon on the foreign exchange market.

Many experts are now criticizing the monetary policy followed by the Banque du Liban since 1993, the date of the arrival of the current governor, Riad Salamé, noting that a parity check as he designed indeed promotes stability. relative of the local currency until major and brutal corrections intervene such as those through which the Lebanese economy is going today.

This correction is all the more brutal since the Banque du Liban would have encouraged the investments of foreign currencies by private banks in the form of a share of certificates of deposit with it but also in the form of eurobonds from the Lebanese Republic, now in default of payment. The deposits of private banks would thus have served to artificially maintain an exchange rate but also to finance, for years, the purchase of essential products such as fuels. Some sources estimate that the monetary reserves of the central bank have even been negative since 2015.

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