Middle East: The Money Watchers

MIDDLE EAST

Money talks, but not everyone can understand what it is saying. Perhaps the world's most skilled interpreters can be found in Lebanon, second only to Switzerland as a freewheeling money market. Beirut bankers are convinced that they can often glimpse the future in the movement of money. Last week they were glimpsing harder than ever. As one banker explained, "It's just before the Ramadan, the month-long Moslem fast when people tend to be jittery. This is the scheming season."

Worried Rich. Of course, many factors influence the ups and downs of money marts, but when a country's currency is in strong...