The words of the Secretary-General of the Association of Banks, Mr Fadi Khalaf, in his article published in some newspapers are “Amin al-Kalam”, because it documents the exposition of the “Triangle of Manahba” contract, ie, politicians, bank owners and the Banque du Liban. Perhaps the decision will be made to sacrifice Riad Salameh, especially if it is proved that the struggle is over, and it becomes possible to “change the officers.” The article, which of course examined the foundations of the association and its team of experts, analysts and lawyers, launches the struggle to present Salama as a “scapegoat” on the altar of a set of goals: to dragging depositors into the ditch of the banks while defending their right to recover their deposits from the state and the Banque du Liban, and proposing that this requires the preparation of Hand-over state assets and compulsory reserves. Let’s wait for the transition from the stage of writing articles to the stage of filing lawsuits against the Banque du Liban and the state to achieve it (see “Modon”).
To generalize the benefit of the article, we note that Mr. Khalaf reaffirmed the association’s position on three crucial issues: First; The need to under no circumstances prejudice the compulsory reserve, as it forms an integral part of customers’ deposits. Second; Holds the state responsible for draining bank deposits at the Banque du Liban, and finally, holds the Banque du Liban responsible for impairing the compulsory reserve. This means that banks, businessmen and politicians are “innocent of the blood of all the righteous”. What changed until the contract with Riad Salameh was broken? Will he take the initiative to defend himself by exposing his partners? May he dare and do it.
The objectives of the fight against security
The agreement with the International Monetary Fund was a fatal blow to the three-man illusions of the possibility of evading responsibility for what the newspaper Le Monde described as the theft of the era, especially the provisions relating to the restructuring of the banking sector, international auditing of banks’ balance sheets, and the amendment of the Banking Secrecy Act (see “Al-Modon”). These clauses pave the way for the widest audit and accountability process that can be considered “the trial of the century”. It is not in vain or coincidental that judicial rulings have been issued in Lebanon and abroad against banks or the escalation of judicial investigations in several European countries with the Governor of the Central Bank and his brother, and that are deliberately leaked about internal investigations conducted . by Swiss and French banks and monetary authorities in the transfers of the Lebanese, especially after 17 November 2019.
Consequently, the “Trilogy of the Menba” set three intermediate goals:
First: immunization of banks against lawsuits
This is what the government is working on efficiently and effectively, through the Capital Control Bill, the issuance of which has been temporarily suspended “due to populist positions and election reasons,” as the Prime Minister said, and he is right in what he said. This project, to say the least, is an unprecedented legal and constitutional heresy in history, because firstly, it provides for the prevention of depositors from suing banks, in violation of the Monetary and Credit Act and even the Lebanese Constitution, and in violation of the simplest international legislative rules, as it stipulates in one of its clauses its application with a retroactive effect to include lawsuits filed before its issuance. And second, because it restricts the approval of transfers and withdrawals from accounts to a committee with full powers, appointed by the “triple looting,” instead of including clear criteria in the law to prevent discretion and clientelism. And anyway, so another conversation.
Second: Seizure of State Assets
The Association of Banks and its political partners seek to hold the state responsible for draining bank deposits at the Banque du Liban. The solution, as you claim, is to put the state’s assets, such as some real estate, the casino, the Middle East Airlines, the port and the telecommunications sector, in an investment fund, which they manage and enjoy and share the proceeds of. to pay off the deposits … or the establishment of a joint-stock company that finances the deposits of 35-40 of the largest depositors.To establish power plants that sell production to the state. And the only consequence is not to deny any responsibility of bank owners to loot people’s money, but rather to continue the process of looting: “The saw came up and ate … came down and ate.”
The attempt to deceive people reaches its scope in the attempt of Mr Khalaf and the staff of the Association of Banks to evade the responsibility of lending to the state, and to hold the Banque du Liban solely responsible. Did he hold these public auction parties? forget about interest in attracting the money of expatriates and Arab depositors, and the funny and crying offers about the example of a one million dollar deposit recorded in Depositor’s two million dollar account. And all this so that they can lend it to the state through the Banque du Liban. How do they forget the international institutions and the French president who describe their banking activities as a Ponzi scheme? And the Secretary-General asks the General Staff how François Bassil was forced to resign because he refused to continue the “farce” of loans to the state in exchange for fantastic benefits. And enlighten our minds by knowing why the association has remained silent in recent years about Salameh practices “in violation of monetary and credit laws”, before waking up on April 1, 2020 to send him a note warning about the consequences of the breach of the depositors’ money, as stated in his article.
Third: lay hands on the compulsory reserve
This is considered to be the main objective, given the urgent need for a portion of the rapidly eroding reserves, to transfer a payment on the account to the owners of 800,000 accounts of small depositors to buy their silence temporarily, and to avoid an uncontrollable social explosion. This was explicitly stated by the Prime Minister when he confirmed that the recovery plan guarantees the repayment of deposits of less than $ 100,000. Therefore, the Association of Banks is expected to take a very dangerous step, namely to file a lawsuit against the Banque du Liban, forcing it to return the mandatory reserve to the banks. The possibility of requiring investment in gold reserves can not be ruled out, as some analysts and experts are beginning to “analyze and ban.”
The “maniba duo” fear that their ruling partner will take the advice of international institutions to “rationally” use the remaining mandatory reserves to prevent a rapid collapse of the exchange rate at the moment, and to reduce the minimum elements of revival later. to preserve. This explains Mr. Fadi Khalaf’s focus in his article on the exchange rate stabilization policy. Of course, Mr. Khalaf did not need the help of Milton Friedman and the consumption of the “space given to the article” to review international standards, to confirm the certain and well-known that the Central Bank does not have the free and, of course, compulsory reserves, to stabilize the exchange rate for two consecutive decades. But did the Association of Banks and their owners wait for Mr. Khalaf takes the office to reveal this “hidden secret” to her, or have you seen it “hide the known secret” by understanding with the ruler and with his political partners to enjoy billions of dollars in profits and to brag about the swelling and inflation of the banking sector, which has become “bigger than its country”.
Would it not have been more appropriate for Mr. Khalaf to respect the minds of the Lebanese and to name things by name, and to say that the policy of stabilizing the exchange rate and state financing adopted by the Banque du Liban was instituted by a political decision of the martyr Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in agreement and solidarity with the political parties of all their colors, and they complied with it and applied it to the letter after his assassination and until yesterday near its expiration date. Because this policy was a lever and a curtain to “plunder” the state’s resources and aid from donor countries, as well as the deposits of the Lebanese and Arabs, in partnership with bankers, businessmen and bankers. Because these policies have helped them silence people who have enjoyed so much wealth. And to determine the price, as Mr. Khalaf revealed to us, was not a “miscalculation by the Banque du Liban, which had to realize the impossibility of continuing with this policy.” Riad Salameh is a professor at the University of Finance, Monetary and “Financial Engineering”, so his political and banking partners protected him “with lashes”, and they continue to do so until further notice. It certainly does not require lessons in A and B “the so-called face of the wind that requires maintaining a high level of foreign exchange reserves,” says Mr. Khalaf. Unless these lessons come from the “work set” to complete the requirements to turn the pillars of the political financial system against their partner and the engineer of their operations, and present him as a scapegoat on the altar of their illusions of the possibility of evading the responsibility of the economic, financial and monetary collapse and the loss of depositors’ money.
The system detects danger
Once the elections are over, the country will enter a very dangerous stage, represented by a free fall to the bottom of Hell. Riad Salameh, “who is no longer afraid of getting wet,” will permanently support and stop state funding, not in implementing the warnings of Mr. Fadi Khalaf and the Association of Banks, but in accordance with the advice of international institutions. This will lead to a significant rise in the prices of fuel, communications and the customs dollar, with a greater collapse of the exchange rate of the lira and purchasing power.
This horrific collapse will be accompanied by a waiting period for developments in the political situation in the region to crystallize, or to a comprehensive confrontation that will translate into social and sectarian security disturbances in Lebanon, and a lifeline for the “looting system” make out. Or to an international regional settlement starting from the signing of the nuclear deal with Iran and withdrawing from Lebanon. In this case, the fate of the political class and its partners, posing as bankers and businessmen, will be discussed and written off.
And we end with the question that Mr. Fadi Khalaf mentioned in his article: Will the anomaly Lebanese situation become a new research subject taught in universities? And we add: Or will this case become a new “rehabilitation material” to be applied in prisons?