A year after the Lazard plan, the plan that defined the financial gap, the way to distribute losses and ways to get out of the crisis, a plan that, despite its weakness, would have saved us from the collapse we are witnessing today. So what did the economist Nazir Younis reveal to Sawt Beirut International’s reporter, Mahasen Morsel, regarding “Lazard” plan?
“Initially, the plan could not be implemented quickly, as it was a preliminary paper to negotiate with the International Monetary Fund, and if it was agreed upon quickly, it would have stopped the collapse. At that time, losses were determined between 50 and 60 billion pounds, and today losses have exceeded one hundred billion pounds. That is to say, due to the lack of approval and the implementation, losses increased by 35 billion, leading to the deterioration of the Lebanese pound. The exchange rate of the dollar was 2,500 pounds. Today , it reached 12,500 pounds. In 2020, the balance of payments gap increased by more than 10 billion dollars. Consequently, failing to implement “Lazard” plan has worsen the situation and exacerbated losses.
Regarding the non-implementation of the plan to be intended or not, the economist Younis replied: “There is a theory that considers that the matter was intended by the Governor of the Banque du Liban to distribute losses the way he deems convenient, as depositors lose from their deposits while withdrawing according to the exchange rate of 3900 pounds and by virtue of bank checks. The governor was willing to reduce the exchange rate of the Lebanese pound in order to reduce losses on banks, and the ruling regime let him make the decisions regarding losses distribution.”
With the blessing of the officials, the banking party succeeded in striking the plan. They chose to hold the poor, middle class and small depositors responsible of all the financial losses resulting from their thefts.