Dollar Squeeze Worsens in Lebanon as Government Asks for Aid

Lebanon’s foreign-exchange crisis is intensifying, prompting another appeal by the government for financial aid after its debt default last month, Bloomberg News reported. Local banks have reduced the amount of dollars customers can withdraw from their accounts and even forced them to accept conversions into the local currency in some instances. Two of the largest have almost stopped dispensing foreign exchange entirely, while the central bank has greatly cut its supply, said senior bankers, who didn’t want to be named. The shortages of hard currency have already led to a deep recession and crippled many businesses as they struggle to import essential goods. The coronavirus pandemic and a nationwide lockdown to stop its spread are adding to the problems, with Lebanese lenders having closed most of their branches. Read more