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University of Balamand > Academics > Centers & Institutes > ECMRC > Workshops & Conferences > Workshops and The Future Conferences

Workshops and The Future Conferences

Banque Libano-Française (BLF) and the Economics and Capital Markets Research Center (ECMRC) of the University of Balamand (UOB) organized a round table on "The Future of the Euro" with six media representatives from Future TV, The Daily Star newspaper, Al-Nahar newspaper, Al-Iktissad wal Aamal magazine, and Al-Bayan magazine, at the financial arm of BLF, Libano-Française Finance (LFF) on June 16, 2010. Ms. Zeina Torbey welcomed the press representatives to the LFF wishing them a fruitful debate with Mr. Georges Khoury, General Manager of LFF and Mr. Douaihy, Director of the ECMRC. Mr. Douaihy started by describing the latest developments of the Euro with respect to the dollar and in relation to the pound, pointing out the structural weakness of the Euro due to the different fiscal policies of the Euro area country members and the lack of respect by several members countries, such as Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain, for criteria such as public deficit and debt ceiling regulations. On the other hand, Mr. Douaihy did not claim that the U.S. Dollar or the British Pound are in a better shape, since their countries also face high budget deficits and government debt, as well as a large trade deficit when it comes to the U.S: "I'm convinced that the euro is weak, but at the same time, I consider that the other currencies are also weak". The Yuan does not offer a better alternative, since Chinese authorities are not likely to allow their currency to appreciate in the coming months. A safer investment at the moment can be in Gold. Mr. Khoury then went on to comment and say that among currencies, the one that gives the highest rate on return is now the Lebanese pound, and given the current conditions it is one of the best to invest in. Answering a question by one of the journalists, Mr. Khoury affirmed that the real estate market in Lebanon is not likely to experience a bubble due to the several regulations set by commercial banks on mortgage lending which reduce the rate of default by home buyers.  However, microcredit and credit cards allowing consumers to spend more might raise concerns of default. This event is one of many, representing the continuous cooperation between ECMRC, BLF and the media, and allowing the public to make sense of current economic data and events.

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