According to the Swiss Le Temps, the Lebanon Central Bank had known since 2016 that the country was headed toward bankrupcy [1]. Sensitive information was covered up by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the request of Riad Salameh. So, inexorably, the predicted disaster came to pass.

On 9 April 2016, the IMF representative for Lebanon, Spanish national Alvaro Piris, submitted an interim report to Central Bank governor Riad Salameh. This document sounded the alarm bells. However, at Mr. Salameh’s behest, the IMF redacted the 14 most crucial pages.

At the time, the IMF was headed by French-born Lagarde, now president of the European Central Bank [2].

It therefore appears that the bankruptcy of Lebanon could have been avoided, but was allowed to happen because of the collusion between Riad Salameh and the IMF. It is not simply a question of mismanagement and corruption; the bankruptcy of Lebanon came about as the result of a conspiracy involving the leaders of the IMF. Only a handful of insiders were able to bail themselves out.

[1"EXCLUSIF : La Banque du Liban a censuré un rapport du FMI qui prévoyait le désastre actuel", Antoine Harari et Clément Fayol, Le Temps, 7 octobre 2021.

[2See our dossier on Christine Lagarde.