Global Politics

Mideast avoids financial crisis

It's not that people in this region don't have economic complaints�salaries are pitiful and food and fuel prices are soaring as well. But the U.S. economic crisis hasn't reached Lebanon at all, for example. This analyst says rebuilding a country, as Lebanon has had to do, costs a lot of money, most of which is borrowed, which helps Lebanese banks. Then there's the fact that Lebanese banks are known for their due diligence, unlike American banks. This analyst says Lebanese banks are very conservative in their lending. This economics professor in Lebanon says making or taking bad loans in the Middle East is taboo unlike in the U.S. but people here worry that the Arab World isn't doing well overall, and that it's too early to tell if the global economic tsunami has passed the Middle East by or if it can still hit.

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