Lebanese Currency Sinks to New Low
The Lebanese pound sank to a new low on the black market Wednesday, with no end in sight to the economic and political crisis plunging ever growing numbers into poverty.
According to websites monitoring the black market rate, the pound was trading at 24,000 to the dollar, or 16 times less than its official peg value of 1,500.
The new record, topping a previous peak in July, comes as the newly-formed government has failed to meet for more than a month amid a festering diplomatic crisis with Gulf countries.
Lebanon's much-reviled political barons are also divided over the fate of the judge probing the deadly August 2020 Beirut port blast widely blamed on government negligence and corruption.
With the currency losing more than 90 percent of its value in two years on the black market, the purchasing power of Lebanese is plummeting and the minimum wage is now worth less than $30.
According to the United Nations, four in five Lebanese are now considered poor. The World Bank estimates Lebanon may need almost two decades to recover its pre-crisis per capita GDP.