American Univesity of Beirut

Lebanon's Meltdown: Failed State or Reforms & Transformation?

About the Speaker

Dr Nasser H. Saidi heads Nasser Saidi & Associates an economic and financial consultant and advisor to the banking & financial sector, governments, central banks, regulators, multi-national and regional companies. He is the former Chief Economist of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) from 2005 to 2012, where as a senior executive he built & promoted the centre and its strategic development and links with foreign governments, central banks, IFIs, banks & financial institutions and international financial centres. He was senior adviser to the UAE Minister of Finance, 2004-2006. Dr Saidi is the Founder and former Executive Director of the DIFC’s Hawkamah-Institute for Corporate Governance and the Mudara Institute of Directors, 2006-2012. 

Dr Saidi was the Minister of Economy and Trade and Minister of Industry of Lebanon between 1998 and 2000. He was the First Vice-Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon for two successive mandates, 1993-1998 and 1998-2003, a period spanning reconstruction of Lebanon’s economy & its banking and financial sector. He was appointed as a Member of the UN Committee for Development Policy (UNCDP) for two mandates over the period 2000-2006, by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, in his personal capacity. 

Dr Saidi is Chairman of the MENA Clean Energy Business Council, promoting clean energy solutions & policies in the MENA countries. He is a member of the IMF’s Regional Advisory Group for MENA and a member of the Advisory Board of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) and a member of the advisory board of the Institute for Integrated Transit ions (IFIT) and co-chaired the OECD MENA Corporate Governance Working Group. He is active in climate and sustainability finance, FinTech, crowdfunding, and corporate governance in MENA. 

In 2014, he was named among the 50 most Influential Arabs in the World by The Middle East magazine, for the fourth consecutive year and named among the 500 Most Powerful Arabs in the world by Arabian Business for the second consecutive year.
He is the author of numerous articles and has written several books and publications addressing macroeconomic, capital market development and international economic issues in the MENA region, the GCC countries and Lebanon. His research interests include macroeconomics, financial market development, FinTech, payment systems, international economic policy, corporate governance, climate change and digitalization. 

Prior to his public career, Dr Saidi was a private banker and served as an economic adviser and director to a number of central banks and financial institutions in Arab countries, Europe and Central and Latin America.

Dr Saidi was an academic, serving as a Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics in the University of Chicago, the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales (Geneva, CH), and the Université de Genève. He also served as a professor at the American University of Beirut and the Université St. Joseph in Beirut.

Dr Saidi holds a Ph.D. and a M.A. in Economics from the University of Rochester in the USA, a M.Sc. from University College, London University and a B.A. from the American University of Beirut.​

About the Talk

Lebanon is experiencing historically unprecedented multiple crises: political, economic, banking & financial, debt, currency, environmental and health crises. The talk discusses the underlying drivers of the crises; a multi-faceted failure of governance; economic, monetary, fiscal and financial mismanagement, and corruption. Lebanon has become a failed state. Will it be possible to rescue Lebanon, undertake the necessary deep reforms and transformation?​

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