Alain Bifani served as director general of the Lebanese Ministry of Finance from 2000 to 2020. He received the United Nations award for improving tax services and transparency, and he was named commandeur de l’Ordre du Cèdre (Lebanon) and chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (France) for his relentless fight against corruption.
Lebanon offers a case study in financial collapse. Never had an economy fallen so brutally, nor had a banking crisis been left so unmanaged, with predatory and irresponsible elites denying evidence of deterioration as depositors’ money evaporated. The failure was abrupt but originated from an illness that started long ago. This paper follows the crisis through its various stages to its lowest depths and warns that it risks changing Lebanon forever.