If you’re still wondering how much it cost BDL to drop the lira exchange rate from 34,000 to below 20,000; the answer is $509 million dollars as reported by Megaphone News. This comes as part of BDL’s Circular 161 aimed at pumping dollars into the markets to absorb the volume of Lebanese pounds in circulation, but without dollars coming into the country and a proper reform plan from the government, this strategy is only making things worse.

So why is BDL doing it?

– It has become clear that Lebanon plans to negotiate an IMF bailout at the 20,000 pounds per dollar rate and Mikati’s government is working alongside Salameh to sustain this rate as long as negotiations are going, or until elections are over.

– I sense Salameh is planning his way out of the Central Bank and the country, and is simply draining whatever reserves we have left to keep “everyone” happy, and basically screwing his successor.

Let’s not forget that those 12 billion dollars in reserves are what’s left of the $104 billion of hard currency deposits, and the more we drain these reserves, the higher the haircut on these deposits and the slimmer the chances of getting any of our money back.