On your own

Executive Magazine - - Editorial - Yasser Akkaoui Edi­tor-in-chief

If you moved back to Le­banon af­ter the civil war dur­ing your late 20s with the dream of re­build­ing the nation—and of course, haven’t held any pub­lic of­fice—we pre­dict you’re go­ing to be work­ing un­til you drop dead. Yes, Le­banese are known to be suc­cess­ful en­trepreneurs—it’s a rep­u­ta­tion that a few out­liers have given us—but the ma­jor­ity of Le­banese are or­di­nary peo­ple with no safety net nor a propen­sity to­ward sav­ing.

Who­ever worked hard dur­ing the hey­days of the 1990s un­til 2005 were, most likely, able to buy a roof over their heads and maybe put some money aside to en­joy over cham­pagne, or ex­haust dur­ing wars and crises. If you grad­u­ated af­ter 2010, how­ever, you en­tered the work­force at a time of de­creas­ing pros­per­ity. That is, if you were able to find a job rather than mi­grat­ing to brighter pas­tures.

Our wealth man­age­ment pat­terns fol­low the same rules that ap­ply world­wide. Real es­tate, like in any other coun­try, re­mains the first sav­ing in­stru­ment we use. Ev­ery­thing else is sub­ject to the cycli­cal global eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion and am­pli­fied by the specifics of Le­banon’s geopo­lit­i­cal po­si­tion, and of course, the lack of in­tel­li­gence of our politi­cians.

While our politi­cians re­main obliv­i­ous to the World Bank’s rec­om­men­da­tions on poverty al­le­vi­a­tion, in­clu­sive­ness, and mar­ket dy­nam­ics, Le­banese are left to de­vise their own re­tire­ment plan, quite the chal­lenge with an an­nual GDP growth of less than 2 per­cent.

You are on your own. Dis­claimer: The above does not ap­ply to state of­fi­cials. They be­long in a dif­fer­ent eco­nomic model where you do not ex­ist.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lebanon

© PressReader. All rights reserved.