A few weeks in the past, Michael Safi went to satisfy a financial institution robber. She was about 5ft tall, in her late 20s, and carrying fluffy slippers. Her title is Sali Hafez. On the finish of her tether, she took a plastic reproduction gun and a bottle of petrol and walked right into a department of her financial institution to demand they gave her the cash in her account. She says the steadiness was over $100,000. They gave her $14,000.
At the moment we carry you the story of a financial institution theft, however not that one. As an alternative, it’s a story of how Lebanon’s banks turned so dysfunctional that they needed to stop prospects withdrawing their very own cash. The Reuters journalist Timour Azhari explains how the nation’s total banking system imploded after working what the World Financial institution has known as an enormous Ponzi scheme. For years, Lebanon inspired overseas funding with the promise of excessive rates of interest, however the struggle in neighbouring Syria after which the pandemic meant that when traders took fright, the entire monetary system got here tumbling down. And when that occurred, it uncovered to daylight what had been occurring all alongside: a carnival of plundering of the state’s belongings by a ruling elite that has but to confront the mess the nation is in.
Now, banks are being robbed by their very own prospects at a price of at the least one per week. However these ‘robbers’, equivalent to Sali Hafez, are discovering the state has no urge for food – or maybe capability – to prosecute them.
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