Neoliberalism & the Syrian Economy

syria-usaThere’s an interesting debate going on in the previous post about Dr. Charbel Nahas, and whether or not he’s likely to spearhead an FPM-sponsored assault on Haririan neoliberalism.

If that’s just a tad too much “inside baseball” for you, then check out the following couple of links, which shed light on the future of Syria’s economy.

Financial superstar analyst and former chief global strategist for Morgan Stanley, Barton Biggs, argues in Newsweek that Syria represents “the next hot market“.

Meanwhile, over at Syria Comment, my good friend Ehsani does battle with Dr. Omar Dahi over the issue of whether Syria needs to aggressively liberalize its economy. Stimulating stuff.

Finally, here’s Syrian ambassador to the U.S. Dr. Imad Moustapha, debating WINEP’s Robert Satloff on the future of the American-Syrian relationship.
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9 thoughts on “Neoliberalism & the Syrian Economy

  1. I have had a broad smile on my face for the past 60 seconds. What a lovely graphic. It is a perfect image with the potbelly instead of washboard abs and modest trunks instead of briefs.Who is the illustrator? I couldn’t make up the name.

    Posted by ghassan karam | November 14, 2009, 1:22 pm
  2. ” Biggs is managing partner of Traxis Partners hedge fund in New York.”

    So Barton Biggs is a hedge fund partner. Thanks for the honesty. We know what happened to hedge funds when the world economy collapsed. They were the first to disappear. He can go and gamble in Syria if he likes.

    So, QN are you switching careers now? You seem to be shifting gear away from politics into economics.

    I still don’t know who this EHSANI is. He seems to be a very obscure motivated fellow. I tend to agree with his assessment of Dr. Dahi’s analysis which is only meant to serve the interests of the ruling junta. Anyway, it is all academics and this boring debate has been going on in Syriacomment for ages. It simply boils down to this: Do we (Syrians) liberalize the political system in order to attract capital or do we build the economy? The debate is simply designed to stiffle opposition (i.e. keep them going in circles with no clear answers in a sort of Byzantine type of debate) in order for Bashar to feel comfortable in his position.

    I am disappointed QN, that you even bring such debate into your forum. What purpose does it serve? Don’t tell me you miss Damascus like Jumblat. I too was Alepine couple hundred years ago. I went for a visit once and I do not intend to make an encore.

    Posted by mike | November 14, 2009, 2:01 pm
  3. Ghassan,

    Not sure who the illustrator is… By the way, the debate between Moustapha and Satloff is worth watching.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | November 14, 2009, 2:28 pm
  4. Mike,

    “Very obscure motivated fellow”?

    Qifa and I had a nice Italian dinner together. I could not be too obscure. Motivated? Not really. Too many Syrians are afraid to transform the economy so I use my spare time to vent out. You can shoot me an email anytime. My friend Qifa has it.

    Posted by EHSANI2 | November 14, 2009, 2:42 pm
  5. Tnx for the link. I intended to watch it sometime tomorrow instead of my weekly noire film 🙂 Have you seen a few weeks ago Mustaphas’ response to the National Geographic article? He did , as expected , defend his employers against the harsh criticism of the NG.

    BTW, Lebanon and Russia can not be described as Neo Liberal since non of them had market institutions that were developed enough as to qualify. Russia is best described as an oligarchy and Lebanon as semi feudalistic system. Neo Liberalism is no more than the teachings of Hayek whose ideas were adopted by the Iron Lady and RR. Definitely Indonesia was not Neo Liberal neither was eastern europe for that matter.

    I have been a severe critic of NeoLiberalism for two decades but I will not blame Neo Liberalism for outcomes that it did not influence.

    Lebanon is essentially the worst example of Oligarchy. It was government by one individual whose net worth was at one point larger than the collective GDP in a state that has no institutions either to protect the consumer or her liberties.

    Lebanon was just as ready for Neo-Liberalism as the Soviet Union was ready for communism in 1917.

    I must go and Jog:-)

    Posted by ghassan karam | November 14, 2009, 2:48 pm
  6. Ehsani is definitely not “obscure” 🙂

    Larger than life, I’d say.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | November 14, 2009, 3:31 pm
  7. The cartoonist is a guy called Nicholson, who is featured in The Australian. The hint is the man with the bushy eyebrows in the cartoon – former Australian PM John Howard.

    Posted by Marko Pasha | November 15, 2009, 5:09 am
  8. Good catch Marko

    Posted by netsp | November 18, 2009, 11:02 pm


  1. Pingback: Syria Comment » Archives » Omar Dahi and Ehsani Debate “Neoliberalism” and Economic Reform - November 14, 2009

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