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The Tragedy of Lebanon’s Currency Devaluation

While the official exchange rate is down 90%, the black market is still trading at less than 25% of the official rate.

February 4, 2023
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This week, the Lebanese pound (or lira) was devalued from 1,500 lira per U.S. dollar to 15,000 lira per USD. At the same time, the black market price of a dollar is 64,300 lira. In this episode, NLW gives the story behind the headlines and tweets, and explains why the World Bank calls Lebanon one of the worst economic crises in the last 150 years.

“The Breakdown” is written, produced by and features Nathaniel Whittemore aka NLW, with editing by Rob Mitchell and research by Scott Hill. Jared Schwartz is our executive producer and our theme music is “Countdown” by Neon Beach. Music behind our sponsor today is “Swoon” by Falls. Image credit: Malcolm P Chapman/Getty Images, modified by CoinDesk. Join the discussion at