Banking: Rescue in Beirut

Since Beirut's overextended Intra Bank collapsed a year ago, the precarious prosperity of little Lebanon has been flattened by multiple misfortune. Despite a massive infusion of loans from the Lebanese central bank, which halted subsequent runs on Beirut's 71 other locally owned banks, foreign confidence in Lebanese banking has faltered. Many billionaire sheiks, whose deposits had helped to make Beirut the banking capital of the Middle East, moved their riches elsewhere. Tourist trade, the other principal prop of Lebanon's economy, all but vanished with the Middle East war. Now, in once bustling Beirut, sumptuous hotels are almost empty,...

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