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Bachar Bzeih 17 Mar 2023

8 Math Problems They Should Give In Lebanese Schools

We all know how math teachers love to give us the most absurd and long-winded equations in history, so we thought why not substitute some of those random oranges for some nice lessons from Lebanese life. Here are 8 math problems fit for a Lebanese life.

1. The Wasta Trader

Samir knows someone who knows someone who knows someone close to a politician’s mistress. The person tells them that they were told to exchange their money at the 90,000 USD-LBP exchange rate, because it’s about to drop back down to 75,000. Samir has saved up $3,000 in a safe at home. He decides to exchange $2,000 at 90,000, and then exchanges a further $500 at 88,000. The exchange rate drops down to 80,000, and Samir decides to exchange his LBP back into USD and puts them back into his safe.

How much money does Samir have inside the safe?

2. The Salesman

Ali is a small business owner that gets a new shipment of products every two weeks. After getting 40 new small rechargeable LED lights for $6 each, he decides to make a special offer and sell 4 for 480,000 L.L. At the time the USD-LBP exchange rate was 20,000. After two weeks, the exchange rate jumps to 35,000. Answer the following question based on the information above:

If Ali sold 10 of his special offer packages, but only exchanged the money into USD after two weeks, how many new lights could he afford to buy with his profits? Show your work.

3. The Big Bank Hostage

Maria had $100,000 in a bank account in 2019. Before the full-on implosion of the financial system she managed to get $10,000 out. In 2020, she managed to get another $4,000 out. She spent $6,000 over that period. At the start of 2021, she came to an agreement with her landlord to pay $150 a month as rent for the year. Her bank only allowed her to withdraw $300 per month during this same period. She spends $50 on food and life necessities per month, and had to pay $250 to get her car fixed in August.

How much money does Maria have inside her bank account on the 31st of December 2023, and how much does she have in her hands?

4. The Resort Opening

A consortium of local investors are opening a resort in Lebanon. They budgeted $2 million dollars into the initial construction, and estimated that it would take 6 months. After 2 months, the local municipality arrived on the scene and declared that the project would be shut down pending a resubmission of permits. After two months and a half of deadlock, a local official said that he could have the “issue sorted” for a small fee of $200,000. They paid and construction resumed. A month and a half later, four separate security branches arrived and issued fines and stopped work. After a month, the issue was settled for $800,000. Two days before opening, construction costs had increased by $400,000 for every month of delay, and a mysterious fictional character arrived and demanded that she receive 51% of all profits made in the next six months. Over that period, the resort made a profit of $1 million.

What is the overall profit of the project so far?

5. The International Deal

You are an advisor to the Minister of Vegetable Affairs and are helping him seal a deal for the import of broccoli into the country. The Ministry receives three offers to import 400,000 kgs of broccoli. The first offer stipulates that the broccoli is priced at $21/kg. The second offer stipulates that each kg of broccoli is priced at $30, and that 30% of the total value of the deal is transferred to a Cayman shell company owned by the minister. The third offer stipulates that each kg of broccoli is priced at $25, and that the minister is paid $2,600,000 in cash + 10% on all future profits. The minister was allocated 18,000,000,000 LBP (at 1500 rate) by the Ministry of Finance to complete this deal. He gets to launder any leftover money into his account.

If the minister is trying to maximize his personal wealth, which offer should he go for?

6. The Money Laundering Front

You are a mob boss in Lebanon, and for certain legal reasons need to move your money through a business. You want to launder around $50,000 a month through this new “cafe.” To run the cafe, you have fixed expenses of $10,000 a month + $500 per employee. You need to hire at least 5 employees because of agreements made, and at least 3 employees to actually work in the business. You make $6,000 a month from sales, and from every additional actual employee hired you can make an additional $2,000 per month. If you make a profit over $75,000, you are taxed 10%.

How many employees do you need to hire to launder $50,000 a month at minimal personal cost?

7. Salarynomics

Saleh is an NGO director in Beirut. Because he’s a hustler, Saleh usually gets many independent assignments per month, in addition to his work at the NGO. His salary at the NGO is $4,000 a month. In addition, a Lebanese publication pays Saleh $200 and 4,500,000 LBP (in cash) per month to write for them, while a Spanish organization pays Saleh €350 per piece he writes. Exceptionally this month, he received $800 from an international NGO to write a report for them. For every dollar that comes into his account, Bank Ooudi takes a 5% transfer fee and a 3% withdrawal fee. Saleh withdraws all his money in one go at the end of the month, how many dollars does he have?

Euro rate = 1.06 per USD
LBP rate = 108,000 per USD

8. Driving at Doders

Jamil is a driver at the Doders delivery company. He gets about 30 orders per day. For orders under 5 km, Jamil estimates that he receives around 30,000 LL and spends 0.2 L of fuel. For orders between 5 and 10 kms, he receives around 35,000 LL and spends 0.4 L of fuel. For orders between 10 and 15 kms, he receives around 40,000 and spends 0.7 of fuel. For orders over 15 kms, he receives around 50,000 and spends 1 L of fuel. Today, 12 orders were between 10 and 15, 9 between 5 and 10, 5 under 5 kms, and 4 over 15 kms. The price of 20 L of fuel is 2,000,000.

If Jamil refills as much fuel as he spent, how much money is he left with at the end of the day? How much money should he be paid per order to make a living wage?