Fear, turmoil in Lebanon as its financial crisis worsens

Lebanese financial crisis grows more severe, throwing businesses in disarray as protests paralyze country

BEIRUT -- Lebanon’s worsening financial crisis has thrown businesses and households into disarray.

Banks are severely limiting withdrawals of hard currency, and Lebanese say they don’t know how they’ll pay everything from tuitions to insurance and loans, all made in dollars.

Politicians are paralyzed, struggling to form a new government in the face of tens of thousands of protesters in the streets for the past month demanding the entire leadership go.

Store owners on one of Beirut’s main commercial streets are cutting salaries by half or considering shutting down. Shops advertise sales, but still can’t draw in customers.

Consumers fear a collapse in the currency will wreck the value of their savings.

The only place doing a thriving business: the store that sells safes, as Lebanese increasingly stash their cash at home.