Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh left office today after 30 years on the job. Unfortunately, him leaving doesn’t change much as Lebanon’s caretake government has failed to appoint a permanent successor, and Salameh’s deputy Wassim Mansouri will take over but wants “guarantees” from the government to agree on a radical set of economic measures.
The only problem is that the government is a resigned one, and is barely able to meet, which means that whatever show Salameh was running will probably stay in place. The only potential change that we might witness is dropping the Sayrafa platform given its lack of transparency and governance, and moving to a better regulated platform.
But who can guarantee his deputy, who’s close to Berri, will perform any better? Or any other deputy for that sake? Who will be able to control the Lira rate when Sayrafa is gone? And if the aim is to liberate the rate, who will pay the biggest price other than hard-working citizens?
Salameh may have left, but he’s part of a bigger mafia running the country, and nothing will change unless we get rid of all of them and hold them accountable.