Support Lebanon 🇱🇧
At ExJewel, we care about all our users and customers. I will spend time with some of our recent Lebanese customers to discuss how jewelry inventory can be correctly valued during these times. Some of the issues we will cover: volatility of diamond prices, the effect of capital controls, the rising unemployment, and the changes in customer demand. Our aim is to help Lebanese jewelers make the best use of their inventory and continue to showcase a long local tradition of craftsmanship.
Lebanon under constant attack 💣
Mid-2019 – Geopolitical tensions in the region with neighbor countries:
- Iran, which was helping the Shiite community, has been weakened by US economic sanctions.
- The Gulf countries, affected by the fall in the price of oil, have also reduced their investments.
- The conflicts in Iraq and Syria have destabilized the entire region.
End 2019 – Thawra: In the fall of 2019, Lebanon was shaken by a major popular protest movement. For nearly four months, activists took to the streets in numbers to denounce “a situation that has been rotting for years”, with the political class trying to maintain a system which serves its personal interests, to the detriment of the population.
- Constant corruption by the current government
- Physical confrontation between the “people” and authorities
- Constant road blocks, especially at night
Beginning 2020 – The Covid-19 pandemic put a stop to the mobilization. Protests resumed in mid-June in Beirut and other cities across the country.
- No flights in-out
- Unstable healthcare: medicine ran out in most pharmacies sooner than expected & salaries were under-prioritized
- Public debt has become unsustainable, forcing Lebanon to declare itself in insolvency in March.
- A lot of private sector companies have had to close shop, either temporarily or permanently
- The prices of consumer goods have exploded
Mid-2020 – Socio-economic crisis
- Capital control
- Rising unemployment rate: Nearly 50% of the Lebanese population now lives below the poverty line, but no response has yet been provided by the political class, plagued by corruption and patronage.
- No food to eat: High risk of starvation – There is a loss of purchasing power and a considerable impoverishment of the population
- Year-on-year inflation reached 56.5% in May, 10 points higher than in April
- The dollar soars, the Lebanese pound sinks.
The only solution would be international aid. The IMF has set a condition: the implementation of structural and institutional reforms to clean up the financial and political system. For now, discussions are stalling, but observers believe that a revival of the popular protest movement that began in October could push leaders to act.