Home Markets ‘Financial surrealism’: Lebanese opt for beer over banks

‘Financial surrealism’: Lebanese opt for beer over banks

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  • Lebanese seek ways to use devalued money
  • Many use “trapped dollars” to repay outstanding debt
  • Central bank plans measures to reduce liabilities
  • Huge losses in financial system still not addressed

BEIRUT, June 17 (Reuters) – Faced with the choice of leaving their savings stuck in the bank or investing them at a huge loss, some Lebanese people are opting to take a punt. For them, it’s the only sensible option in a financial system warped by crisis.

Largely locked out of their dollar deposit accounts since late 2019 when the Lebanese pound crashed and the banking system buckled amid widespread political protests, some savers see investments in export-focused companies as a way to access hard currency and get something for their “lollars”, the nickname for U.S. dollar-denominated deposits ‘trapped’ in Lebanon’s banks.

Alcohol exporters, including craft brewers and gin merchants, are a popular choice.

“If you invest with me today trapped dollars I’ll give it…

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