Will stopping money printing cause a reduction in the exchange rate?

Will stopping money printing cause a reduction in the exchange rate?

| Monday 23 January 2023

The dollar exchange rate is 52 thousand Lebanese pounds... Judging from the available data, it appears that there are measures in place to curb the deterioration, especially in light of the political stalemate and the absence of any prospect of reform in the foreseeable future.

Given the increase in the value of the salaries of public sector workers, the Banque du Liban resorted to printing money in order to make up the shortfall, which contributed to the current inflation, since the volume Liquidity last fall is more than 6.5 times its volume before the crisis hit in October 2019. So stopping printing will lead to a reduction in the exchange rate.

The head of the research and economic analysis department of the Byblos Bank, Nassib Ghobril, explains via the "Akhbar Al Yawm" agency that central banks use several tools to inject liquidity or withdraw it from circulation, in particular by moving interest up (to reduce the volume of the block traded) or down (to facilitate the movement of liquidity), sorry that this tool has been disabled since the beginning of the crisis in 2019.

He says: this is in addition to the control of the percentage of the compulsory reserve for the banks, and there too this tool is not available at the Banque du Liban. Therefore, based on the above, the central bank is obliged to use other tools, namely the issuance of circulars and decisions to withdraw the liquidity of the Lebanese pound from the markets and replace it with dollars. , but it cannot resort to interest because the banking sector does not play its main role in the movement of the economy, noting that when deposits are available with banks, the central bank can again move interest in order to fight against inflation.

In this regard, Ghobril recalls that the preliminary agreement between Lebanon and the International Monetary Fund - concluded last April - stipulates that the priority of the Banque du Liban in the next stage will be the fight against inflation, after it was previously based on fixing the exchange rate, which means that the objective of the central bank is to gradually reduce inflation to a certain figure through certain measures.

Ghobril points out that these tools are currently lacking due to the lack of will among political parties that do not prioritize reforms, considering that the Banque du Liban is the only official civilian institution capable of making decisions and working within the limits of the powers at its disposal, while the constitutional institutions are absent: the House of Representatives is unable to elect, the executive authority has been in an interim state since May and unable to take any decision...

In response to a question, Ghobril clarified that the Banque du Liban does not claim that the measures it has taken are a solution to the crisis, but rather what it is doing is temporary until the reforms are put in place. work, he adds saying: the burden today weighs on the Banque du Liban, moreover, the appetite of politicians is open, while the Banque du Liban tries to preserve the remaining currency reserves, and without its measures, the amount of the reserve estimated at ten billion dollars would have evaporated, like many billions that were wasted.

Ghobril concludes by highlighting the lost trust factor due to the lack of priority given to economic, and social affairs due to indifference and indifference to the financial and monetary situation and the tyranny of interests.

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