"Clients With Guns" Are Demanding Deposits From Crisis-Stricken Lebanese Banks | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

"Clients With Guns" Are Demanding Deposits From Crisis-Stricken Lebanese Banks

Here we go as predicted: the Lebanese central bank attempts to prevent a "panic mode" scramble on the part of the public to remove all deposits, and the recently imposed (unofficial) regulations geared toward staving off capital flight are predictably failing fast, per Reuters:

“Clients with guns have entered banks and security guards have been afraid to speak to them as when people are in a state like this you don’t know how people will act.”

Lebanon's private banks reopened a week ago on Friday following a two-week closure due to massive anti-government protests which created gridlock across the country's main cities, including closure of other public institutions such as schools.

The World Bank weighed in on Friday, urging leaders in Beirut to form new Cabinet within a week, citing risks to Lebanon's stability as "deeply concerning," according to the AP.

Given the country's high unemployment and extreme lack of confidence in the Lebanese Lira, citizens are understandably enraged at not accessing their dollars, and are apparently now taking matters into their own hands:

Some banks have lowered the cap on maximum withdrawals from dollar accounts this week, according to customers and bank employees. At least one bank cut credit card limits from $10,000 to $1,000 this week, customers said.

...One bank told a customer that a weekly withdrawal cap of $2,500 had been slashed to $1,500.

The massive anti-government protests, focused in large part on rooting out endemic corruption, comes after Lebanon has in recent years suffered a severe slowdown in capital flows, and difficulty of importers securing dollars at the pegged exchange rate, as well as periodic collapse of public services - due to frequent strikes, work stoppages, and lack of public funding.

The tiny Middle East country currently has a crippling debt of $86 billion - roughly 150% of the gross domestic product - and some 80% of that debt is believed owed either to the central bank or to Lebanese commercial banks.