A financial adviser to the Lebanese government in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has resigned, after losing hope of any “genuine will” of the government to implement the necessary reforms.
Earlier this year, Henri Chaoul started working, pro-bono, as a financial adviser to the Lebanese Ministry of Finance to “help get Lebanon out of its looming economic and financial crises.”
However, after nearly four months of work, and around a month after Lebanon’s negotiations with the IMF began, he has come to realize that the people in power, as he says, have “no genuine will to implement either reforms or a restructuring of the banking sector, including the Central Bank.”
This conviction, according to him, arose from the fact that “the establishment,” namely, the politicians, the monetary authorities, and the financial sector as a whole, has opted to dismiss the magnitude of the losses in the said sector.
As Chaoul indicates in his communique in which he announced his resignation, the IMF “has confirmed the quantum of these losses.”
However, the establishment has opposed the presented figures and thus impeded the reform plan‘s forward momentum.
Instead, according to Chaoul, Lebanon’s establishment has embarked on a “populist agenda” that adopts a “kicking the can down the road” approach and stalls “every endeavor to head in the right direction.”
With the officials fervently following this agenda and approach, the expert warns that Lebanon will ultimately fall under an economic implosion; the painful effects of which will only be felt by the poor, struggling citizens.
With all that said, Henri Chaoul declared that he would “not stand witness to this detrimental inaction. He decided to pull out of the advisory team, after having joined as a concerned citizen who was eager to see Lebanon steer away from its looming disastrous fate.
The following tweet contains Henri Chaoul’s full communique: