On December 17 reports indicated that citizens of Lebanon were struggling to reach their savings accounts. They have been protesting outside banks and holding sit-ins. Since the economic crisis in 2019, Lebanese banks have kept their branches closed indefinitely. Owing to the loss in wealth, many people are left in poverty. Some Lebanese are even resorting to taking their savings at gunpoint, while most of them are marching in protest or are stuck without money.
Lebanese banks are under siege by those who want their funds back and are making demands.
It was made clear in August 2019 that this was the year it all happened. The country of Lebanon was going through a liquidity crisis, and reports have pointed to US financial cover-ups as well as US sanctions as possible causes. Lebanon’s economy was in turmoil and it was reported that some people were still living as if it was 2018. Lebanese commercial banks immediately froze the accounts of people within a week. By March 2020, Lebanon declared that it would default on its Eurobond debt.
The country started seeking restructuring deals, and the Lebanese lira exchange rate was much higher than the black market rate. A report released in August 2022 noted that “the black market rate is what the currency is really worth now.” In June 2022, Bitcoin.com News reported that Lebanon’s inflation rate had risen to 211%, which is a concern for economists such as Steve Hanke. His suggestion was for the country to have a currency board.
On December 17, NPR columnist Ruth Sherlock wrote about poverty-stricken Lebanese people protesting outside banks in order to access their savings accounts. In Tripoli, Lebanon, at a branch of IBL Bank, Sherlock reported