After a brief recovery, the Lebanese Pound is back in freefall.

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After a brief recovery, the Lebanese Pound is back in freefall.

On Wednesday, the Lebanese pound went for more than 20,000 to the dollar, shedding nearly all of its value since the formation of a new administration last month.

Since the commencement of an extraordinary economic crisis in 2019, the pound, which has been legally tied at 1,500 to the greenback since 1997, has lost more than 90% of its black market value.

In July, the sinking pound was sold on the illicit market for more than 23,000 to the dollar, a new low.

The establishment of a new administration on September 10, which ended a year-long political gridlock, pushed the currency’s value back up to $15,000 per dollar, its highest level in months.

However, the boost to market optimism dissipated fast, and the pound began to fall again in the following weeks.

Money changers told AFP that it sold for $20,500 to the dollar on Wednesday, down from $17,000 at the start of the month.

The pound hasn’t been this low since August, when it briefly surpassed the symbolic 20,000 level.

The continued depreciation of the currency has dashed expectations that Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s new government will be able to avert an economic catastrophe described by the World Bank as one of the worst since the mid-nineteenth century.

Nearly 80% of the population is considered impoverished.

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