Top political leaders gathered at the presidential palace in Baabda this week declaring a “state of economic emergency” amid increasing concern about an imminent collapse in the country’s ailing economy.

Lebanon’s economic problems are nothing new. Lebanon has doubled its debt to $92bn over the last decade (see chart 1) which has helped earn it the honor of the third highest debt-to-GDP ratio in the world (around 150%; behind only Greece and Japan). Low growth since 2011 – about 1.4% annually, due in large part to the outbreak of war in neighboring Syria – has merely exacerbated the problem. (CONTINUED - 997 WORDS)