Egypt’s Economy Still Stinks, Despite the Best Efforts of the so-called “Dream Team”

Feb 03

More on Egypt’s economy: despite the massive aid package given by the axis of autocracy in support of the coup, there is still an extreme shortage of dollars, and the economy is no where close to stabilizing, much less achieving sustainable growth or a resumption of meaningful investment. The black market in hard currency, despite the best efforts of the Central Bank, appears to have entrenched itself for the near future as a fixture in the Egyptian economy, with all that implies for the fiscal health — or more accurately — the fiscal distress of the national economy.  

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Samer Soliman’s “Autumn of Dictatorship”

Aug 07

Over the past ten days, I read the highly informative work of the late Samer Soliman, “Autumn of Dictatorship.”  The book provides a detailed analysis of the political economy of the Mubarak regime and its various crises as it attempted to deal with the systematic decline of rents available to the Egyptian state. During that time, I tweeted various crucial points from the book. I thought it would be useful to put them all together in one blog post.

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Lipset’s Law, Egypt and Democratic Transition

Mar 28

One of the most basic reasons why my judgment on events in Egypt during its post-Mubarak transition differs from that of others is my relative pessimism on what can be achieved in the short-term, other than simply securing the foundations for formal democracy.  Based on that starting point, I have given President Morsi wide leeway, because it seems to me that what he has been attempting to do is no more than establish the foundations for a formal democratic regime, one that no doubt will be greatly troubled and flawed, and will certainly fall short of the aspirations of many “revolutionaries,” particularly the youthful vanguard.

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Morsi’s First Six Months — An Appraisal (Part I)

Jan 28

I have just published a post on the first six months of Morsi’s administration, at the valuable blog,, on the invitation of its founder, Farah Halime.  This is part I of the essay. Part II, inshallah, will appear next week.

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Criticism of the Proposed IMF Loan to Egypt, reprise

Nov 12

Civil society groups in Egypt have released a letter addressed simultaneously to Hisham Qindil, Egypt’s prime minister, and Christina La Garde, executive director of the International Monetary Fund (the “IMF”), expressing their opposition to the proposed loan.  

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My reply to Wael Gamal’s Latest Column on the IMF Loan: Al-Radd al-Mu`tamad `ala Dalil al-Mu`tarid `ala Hijaj al-Muqtarid

Sep 03

I read Wael Gamal regularly, and while I agree with some of his positions, I disagree with others.  With respect to his latest column, the cleverly titled “Dalil al-Mu`tarid `ala Hijaj al-Muqtarid,” I have penned in this post a short reply, with the equally cleverly titled “al-Radd al-Mu`tamad `ala Dalil al-Mu`tarid `ala Hijaj al-Muqtarid”.

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