Lebanon’s governance crisis has continued, driven by traditional sectarian parties’ determination to retain control. The French-led effort to guide Lebanon’s politics toward reform remains the principal external driver of events, but internal dynamics continue to dominate.… Read the rest
Author: Jon B. Alterman
- Arab Gulf states have been hit by the combination of low global oil prices and lockdowns.
- The resulting crisis has prompted calls to rethink the centrality of large expatriate worker populations for economies.
- This week’s UAE-Israeli rapprochement creates more uncertainties than have been publicly acknowledged.
- It quickly stabilizes the Israeli government, while creating significant risks and opportunities for the UAE.
The agreement that was announced with great fanfare is somewhat less than it has been advertised to be.… Read the rest
- Lebanon’s economic crisis represents a long-anticipated reckoning.
- Widespread regional hostility to Iran, combined with a limited Iranian ability to help, constrains Lebanon’s choices still further.
- A messy political re-ordering is in prospect.
● Nominal steps Saudi Arabia took in recent years when it did not need to, such as imposing a Value Added Tax and offering bonds on Saudi public sector firms, will become core parts of government strategy going forward.… Read the rest
● Egypt appears to have suffered fewer Covid-19 infections than many projected.
● The country will face high economic costs across an array of industries because of the pandemic’s effects on the global economy.… Read the rest
● In a week of drawn-out oil production negotiations, Saudi Arabia managed to preserve OPEC+ and seemingly deliver a win to US President Donald Trump.
● Sustained low oil prices will squeeze reform and modernization efforts in Saudi Arabia, but it will not end them.… Read the rest
● Saudi Arabia’s principal financial problem is a collapse in global oil demand due to the Covid-19 crisis.
● The oil price war that has broken out between Russia and Saudi Arabia exacerbates the effects of diminished prices, but an end to that price war will not by itself restore prices, especially because demand is likely to remain slack for months and global storage is filling up.… Read the rest