Lebanese Sovereign Debt: A Ticking Time Bomb.

by Ghassan Karamlebanon  central bank

This column has devoted a number of columns over the past few years what it labeled as the dire need for Lebanon to take major active and meaningful steps to deal with the danger that the sovereign debt posses for the whole country. Well, I do hope that you resist the temptation to argue that since nothing drastic has happened in that specific field then this must mean that all the warnings can be dismissed as false alarms. That would be the furthest thing from the truth.

There are a few reasons why Lebanon has been given a pass so far despite its mishandling of its sovereign debt. The geopolitical strategic position of the country in addition to its relatively small size of sovereign debt in absolute terms plus the good sum of annual immigrant remittance and its substantial holdings of gold stocks have combined to shelter the economy from what would have been normal attacks given its weak sovereign debt data. It is to be noted that a few countries that are in a stronger economic shape than Lebanon yet they have been subjected to substantial economic pressures that have forced them to adopt certain policies that will strengthen their financial foreign accounts.

Please allow me to pose a question that I hope will help illustrate the difficulties that are threatening Lebanon on the economic front. Let us assume that the reader has an annual income of $43,000 and that the total debt accumulated for a variety of reasons amounts to about $62,000. Assume furthermore that the debt service averages about 7% per annum while the revenue is not expected to rise by more than 1.5-2% per annum. As you can see from the above a very simple calculation will show that the increase in revenue per annum would approximate $800 while the debt service would amount to about $4300 each year. This means that this typical reader will experience an increased debt load every year and that the debt/income ratio must climb.

At times inflation can come to the rescue of debtors that have obtained their borrowings at a fixed long term rate. But this β€˜trick’ commonly known as repression will not work in Lebanon since the Lebanese authorities depend on constantly refinancing the accumulated sovereign debt. It is also to be noted that even the domestic portion of the sovereign debt will experience higher interest rates as a result of a high rate of inflation. The rationale for that is very simple, the banks will not settle for , say 8% interest rate if the rate of inflation is 7%. Ads the rate of domestic inflation increases so would the interest rate paid on the domestic portion of the debt. The same would also hole for the external debt since a high rate of inflation would affect the rate of foreign exchange and would thus increase the premiums demanded to insure the Lebanese debt. That in turn will translate into higher financing burden.Β  Even the gold reserves cannot help rescue the economy since once sold then the heath of the economy would weaken substantially.

The lesson from the above is that the current debt/GDP ratio of about 144% will deteriorate each and every year even if Lebanon manages to grow at 3-4% each year. A rough calculation would indicate that by 2020 the debt/GDP in Lebanon would be expected to be about 175%. That would be one of the highest rates of indebtedness in the world besides Japan whose total debt is essentially issued in its own currency.

I am willing to stick my neck out one more time to warn that the special circumstances that have combined thus far to prevent a severe financial crisis in Lebanon cannot be relied upon to last forever. Actually, as Nassim Taleb, the leading financial philosopher in the world has been preaching for a few years: plan for and expect black swans. Many risk distributions have thick tails and the probabilities of avoiding major breakdowns are not as large as what used to be expected even under normal distributions. So how likely is it for a weak distribution to avoid a major breakdown when it is built on weak foundations? Not very likely.

  • 5th ass

    Lebanon economy has a fake commerce and GDP, it does not follow a normal financial system. For example, when the POL was still strong and fully existed in the country in the 70’s, the lira exchange rate was kept under control, WHY! the POL had lots of money in the Lebanese banking system. Though, once the POL left after the Israel invasion in the 82s the lira value plummeted and continued until it was stabilized by the Hariri’s tycoon, pegging the lira to the dollar, and pumping money from abroad, mainly from the Gulf countries artificially keeping the exchange rate under control, in the name of stability. The country lacks a financial system that subscribes to an international norm from the revenue stand point, etc., and today the money continues to pour into this artificial! land from multiple venues ( Saudis/ Gulf, Iranians, European, USA, Latin America, UN, NGO, and the list goes on. I totally agree with your point, though the issue is not the debt only, it is beyond debt, it is the whole system that plagued this place for so long, with cronies, corruptions, and allegiance to outside foreigners. Until this land becomes normal let’s reevaluate! good writing

    • 5thDrawer

      The country needs income. Pine-nuts, olives, and tourists (Some fruits πŸ˜‰ were the base after cedar trees were gone or not needed. Who’s buying now? Syria and War screwed it all.

      • libnan1

        They need to export more Arak. It’s a great product, I definitely enjoy it.

        • doron

          we’ll take all you can supply libnan1.
          they doubled the tax on Arak here. price is same as Jameson whisky these days πŸ™

          • 5thDrawer

            They just LOVE those ‘Sin Taxes’, don’t they?? :-))))

          • doron

            if they could put air in aluminum cans ,they’d charge us for that too
            alcohol up by 100%
            cigaretts up by more then 200% in 5 years

            when we switch to roling tobacoo, the cigs manufactors expirienced a drop in profits and were very concerned, the logic answer to the problem?…double the tax for roling tobacoo by 100% since 1/1/2014.. i would laugh if it wasn’t so sad
            thank god pot and prost’s are i-legal so they don’t tax these either LOL

          • 5thDrawer

            California just legalized ‘recreational pot’. You can get an ounce a day. πŸ™‚
            Broadened the ‘tax-base’ tremendously. :-)))))
            And .. I must mention .. they already put compressed dry air into aluminum cans for cleaning delicate computer parts. The tax is IN. :-)))

          • man-o-war

            Colorado, not California. California tried and it failed to pass.

          • 5thDrawer

            O. Ok .. sorry … Let’s hear it for Colorado. :-))))
            Was only a passing interest news story for me …. starts with ‘C’… πŸ˜‰

          • libnan1

            Have you seen the stocks of pot manufactures sky rocket since CO legalized pot !!!. There is nothing worst than skiing down the slopes with a whole bunch pot heads. I’ll stick with Arak.

          • 5thDrawer

            Yah. Wine was always in my ‘pouch’. πŸ™‚ Good old ski days … sigh ….

          • doron

            the cold banish the satla in a moment , you can ski safely but beware the drunk ones πŸ˜‰

          • man-o-war

            Yeah! Skiing while drunk on Arak is much safer. How about just ski sober and enjoy the natural rush that comes with it.

            btw: Some of the best skiers and snowboarders are pot heads

          • 5th ass

            You can have all the pot you want here in Biqah! even the vegetables here can get you high since it is grown side by side!

          • man-o-war

            I guess I better start eating my vaggies.

          • man-o-war

            Maybe the same person that hates facts also hates eating his Vaggies. Oh well, more for me!

          • libnan1

            I tried pot back in my college days and did not like it. It puts to sleep with a boner …:). Not a good thing. On the other hand Arak keeps me awake with a boner.

          • man-o-war

            At least one person doesn’t like facts.

          • doron

            they should leglize it everywhere, not cause of morality and free choice BS but simply beacuse of the money it generates.
            imagin Lebanon as a leagl exporter.the ammount of money the state will get is …is too much for me to grasp πŸ™‚

          • 5thDrawer

            The ‘state’ doesn’t get it now … what makes you think it would if legal ??
            Hell .. the ‘growers’ don’t even pay their electric bills.

          • libnan1

            Doron, yeah I pay $28 a bottle here in PA. I’m thinking of starting an Arak distiller, we have some good vines across the river in NJ. If you live in the US and would like to start a business please let me know… I think we can do well.

          • 5th ass

            I pay 10000 lira in Zgarta!

          • 5thDrawer

            Loved Zgarta. Nice ‘comfort zone’ – good views. πŸ™‚

          • libnan1

            Oh man 10000 LL are eq to $7 and that is good Arak too not like the Ghantoss&abo raad I buy. Some Arak and kibbi nayee will hit the spot in Zgarta. My mom said good things about Zgarta, I’ve never been. I know who to call on next time I make a trip ….:)

          • doron

            Arak used to be around 6-7$ here too now it’s around 12-13$

          • doron

            thanks but i lived relocated to US a couple of years back.

            i left when i had enough of seeing fat people :))
            if you’d concider meeting me half way in europe, we can get an enterprize in motion
            PS
            imho, richmond PA is the coldedst place on earth known to man! couldnt smoke a cigarett there

          • 5thDrawer

            Good points there, Doron. :-))))

          • libnan1

            Yeah I guess you lived in the sub of Philly. It’s all the Philly Cheese stakes they eat …:) Philly is the arm pit of the US, I live in DELCO which is not too far from Richmond. there are some big momas here …:)

    • delaterre

      Nice write up Mr. 5thASS- you seem you know your shit

  • 5th ass

    Lebanon economy has a fake commerce and GDP! it does not follow a normal financial system. When the POL was still strong and fully existed in the country in the 70’s the lira exchange rate was kept under control. Though, once the POL left after the Israel invasion in the 82 the lira value plummeted and continued until it was stabilized by the Hariri’s tycoon pegging the lira to the dollars with money from abroad, meanly the Gulf countries to artificially keeping the exchange rate under control in the name of stability. The country lack a financial system that subscribes to international norm from the revenue stand point, etcs. And now money contiouns to pour into this poor land from multiple venues ( Saudis, Iranians, Euronpen, USA, UN, NGO, ects, and the list goes. Until this land become norm o your point

    • 5thDrawer

      The country needs income. Pine-nuts, olives, and tourists (Some fruits πŸ˜‰ were the base after cedar trees were gone or not needed. Who’s buying now? Syria and War screwed it all.

      • libnan1

        They need to export more Arak. It’s a great product, I definitely enjoy it.

        • doron

          we’ll take all you can supply libnan1.
          they doubled the tax on Arak here. price is same as Jameson whisky these days πŸ™

          • 5thDrawer

            They just LOVE those ‘Sin Taxes’, don’t they?? :-))))

          • doron

            if they could put air in aluminum cans ,they’d charge us for that too
            alcohol up by 100%
            cigaretts up by more then 200% in 5 years

            when we switch to roling tobacoo, the cigs manufactors expirienced a drop in profits and were very concerned, the logic answer to the problem?…double the tax for roling tobacoo by 100% since 1/1/2014.. i would laugh if it wasn’t so sad
            thank god pot and prost’s are i-legal so they don’t tax these either LOL

          • 5thDrawer

            California just legalized ‘recreational pot’. You can get an ounce a day. πŸ™‚
            Broadened the ‘tax-base’ tremendously. :-)))))

          • man-o-war

            Colorado, not California. California tried and it failed to pass.

          • 5thDrawer

            O. Ok .. sorry … Let’s hear it for Colorado. :-))))

          • libnan1

            Have you seen the stocks of pot manufactures sky rocket since CO legalized pot !!!. There is nothing worst than skiing down the slopes with a whole bunch pot heads. I’ll stick with Arak.

          • 5thDrawer

            Yah. Wine was always in my ‘pouch’. πŸ™‚ Good old ski days … sigh ….

          • doron

            the cold banish the satla in a moment , you can ski safely but beware the drunk ones πŸ˜‰

          • man-o-war

            Yeah! Skiing while drunk on Arak is much safer. How about just ski sober and enjoy the natural rush that comes with it.

            btw: Some of the best skiers and snowboarders are pot heads

          • 5th ass

            You can have all the pot you want here in Biqah! even the vegetables here can get you high since it is grown side by side!

          • man-o-war

            I guess I better start eating my vaggies.

          • man-o-war

            Maybe the same person that hates facts also hates eating his Vaggies. Oh well, more for me!

          • libnan1

            I tried pot back in my college days and did not like it. It puts to sleep with a boner …:). Not a good thing. On the other hand Arak keeps me awake with a boner.

          • man-o-war

            At least one person doesn’t like facts.

          • doron

            they should leglize it everywhere, not cause of morality and free choice BS but simply beacuse of the money it generates.
            imagin Lebanon as a leagl exporter.the ammount of money the state will get is …is too much for me to grasp πŸ™‚

          • 5thDrawer

            The ‘state’ doesn’t get it now … what makes you think it would if legal ??
            Hell .. the ‘growers’ don’t even pay their electric bills.

          • libnan1

            Doron, yeah I pay $28 a bottle here in PA. I’m thinking of starting an Arak distiller, we have some good vines across the river in NJ. If you live in the US and would like to start a business please let me know… I think we can do well.

          • 5th ass

            I pay 10000 lira in Nabatiyeh!

          • 5thDrawer

            Loved Zgarta. Nice ‘comfort zone’ – good views. πŸ™‚

          • libnan1

            Oh man 10000 LL are eq to $7 and that is good Arak too not like the Ghantoss&abo raad I buy. Some Arak and kibbi nayee will hit the spot in Zgarta. My mom said good things about Zgarta, I’ve never been. I know who to call on next time I make a trip ….:)

          • doron

            Arak used to be around 6-7$ here too now it’s around 12-13$

          • doron

            thanks but i lived relocated to US a couple of years back.

            i left when i had enough of seeing fat people :))
            if you’d concider meeting me half way in europe, we can get an enterprize in motion
            PS
            imho, richmond PA is the coldedst place on earth known to man! couldnt smoke a cigarett there

          • 5thDrawer

            Good points there, Doron. :-))))

          • libnan1

            Yeah I guess you lived in the sub of Philly. It’s all the Philly Cheese stakes they eat …:) Philly is the arm pit of the US, I live in DELCO which is not too far from Richmond. there are some big momas here …:)

    • delaterre

      Nice write up Mr. 5thASS- you seem you know your shit

  • 5thDrawer

    Correct again, Ghassan. Interesting that you note the ‘annual immigrant remittance’ … people who escaped, but are sending money ‘home’ to help family … I think it’s the only thing that stops more deaths generally – and floats those idiot politicians who don’t need to give so much of ‘other incomes’ to the people. It is perhaps a bad habit to want to help those who can never seem to raise themselves thanks to the wars. I think sometimes better to let the chips fall where they may. Even if breaks a heart to do so.
    But there are changes in all the world – and those who left the place are also feeling a pinch – necessity will reduce that remittance too. If ‘the people’ don’t get it right eventually, there will only be collapsed buildings, not just weak foundations.
    And many broken hearts.

    • Ghassan Karam

      5thDrawer
      Lebanon owes its economic existence , in a sense, to immigrant remittances. In 2012 the official figure reported by the World Bank was close to $7.5 billion. That is almost 20% of the Lebanese GDP. Many lebanese are proud of the fact that the remittances from immigrants are so substantial when in reality they should be ashamed of the fact that theoir relative economic prosperirt is due to the fact that they produce people and send them to the rest of the world to earn a living. Can you imagine how disasterous this would be if all countries are to do the same?:-) The only strength in the Lebanese financial balance sheet is essentially an aberation that we should not be proud of.

      • 5thDrawer

        Yes Ghassan – Not proud – or rather a False Pride basically.
        Being the ‘poor cousin’ all the time doesn’t do much for self-esteem. And in ‘medical needs’ it’s a welfare state for sure. We hate to see needless suffering, yet there is no help in that. ‘You die on the hospital door.’
        —————
        Anecdotal and comparative story:
        After WWII we lived near an emigrant German in Canada. Every year (or month) he sent a ‘care package’ home to the poor relatives in that war-torn land. He worked in a factory and had an income, after all, and was buying a house. πŸ˜‰
        After 25 years, he had saved enough to make a trip home and took the annual package with him … only to find, to his chagrin, that the relatives were living in a MUCH better house, had better pension plans and more holidays, and were eating very well. They had wondered why he kept sending the cheap clothes. :-))))
        Talk about a lack of communication. :-)))) (#1 Lebanese problem)
        He stopped sending, and never went back again, far as I know.
        —————–
        Lebanon has not had ‘leaders’ to drag it up like the Germans did. NOT that Lebanese are more stupid than Germans … but they only have ‘religious brains’ making the ‘rules’, along with the little despots ‘protecting’ their villages.
        Sometimes, I wonder why we try ….

        • 5th ass

          Right ON!

          The remittances go to owing cell phones and spending most of their time in coffee,shops smoking Argile’, bullshitting, passing time!

          • 5thDrawer

            You’ve been infected a little with ‘anti-social’ thinking I see. Some DO need.
            By the way, there are ‘ways’ to verify a need.
            The International Aid People attempt to do that, for the sake of the feelings of the donors, and then they get dumped on, or disallowed from delivering the aid, because they ‘must be Israeli/US spies’. What stupidity.
            “EVERYTHING MUST BE SECRET – in the ‘Confessional’ model. Just send money – we’ll decide where it goes.”
            Right. By this time there should be free ‘Health Care’ for everyone in Lebanon, considering the amount of money sent over the years.
            There isn’t even a national ‘food bank’.

        • doron

          i dont think it’s a fair comparison 5th,
          germany was runied after a very violant war while lebanon is in an ongoing low level violance.
          this german block thought he is saving (probably was in the first 5 years) his family from cold and starvation whill the lebanies know their relatives will not die if he doesn’t send.

          • 5thDrawer

            Yes, the German was a blockhead – should have read the news over the years. You think my ‘Leb friends’ will not die if I don’t send, then you don’t know them or their particular needs. Like food and water. No jobs. Main reason? They are women. And ALWAYS locked into a war. Always at the mercy of the shitheads there. One even had to have a bullet pulled out this year. Do you think that was ‘free’? Check your ‘stats’.
            I debate always about telling some things here, because some idiot will find an historical religiosity in it. But there is NOTHING of justice or a good life-chance for many (any?) in Lebanon – and that is the simple bottom line. Some can ONLY survive on that ‘input’. And that’s the true SHAME of Lebanon in 2014.

  • 5thDrawer

    Correct again, Ghassan. Interesting that you note the ‘annual immigrant remittance’ … people who escaped, but are sending money ‘home’ to help family … I think it’s the only thing that stops more deaths generally – and floats those idiot politicians who don’t need to give so much of ‘other incomes’ to the people. It is perhaps a bad habit to want to help those who can never seem to raise themselves thanks to the wars. I think sometimes better to let the chips fall where they may. Even it breaks a heart to do so.
    But there are changes in all the world – and those who left the place are also feeling a pinch – necessity will reduce that remittance too. If ‘the people’ don’t get it right eventually, there will only be collapsed buildings, not just weak foundations.
    And many broken hearts.

    • Ghassan Karam

      5thDrawer
      Lebanon owes its economic existence , in a sense, to immigrant remittances. In 2012 the official figure reported by the World Bank was close to $7.5 billion. That is almost 20% of the Lebanese GDP. Many lebanese are proud of the fact that the remittances from immigrants are so substantial when in reality they should be ashamed of the fact that theoir relative economic prosperirt is due to the fact that they produce people and send them to the rest of the world to earn a living. Can you imagine how disasterous this would be if all countries are to do the same?:-) The only strength in the Lebanese financial balance sheet is essentially an aberation that we should not be proud of.

      • 5thDrawer

        Yes Ghassan – Not proud – or rather a False Pride basically.
        Being the ‘poor cousin’ all the time doesn’t do much for self-esteem. And in ‘medical needs’ it’s a welfare state for sure. We hate to see needless suffering, yet there is no help in that. ‘You die on the hospital door.’
        —————
        Anecdotal and comparative story:
        After WWII we lived near an emigrant German in Canada. Every year (or month) he sent a ‘care package’ home to the poor relatives in that war-torn land. He worked in a factory and had an income, after all, and was buying a house. πŸ˜‰
        After 25 years, he had saved enough to make a trip home and took the annual package with him … only to find, to his chagrin, that the relatives were living in a MUCH better house, had better pension plans and more holidays, and were eating very well. They had wondered why he kept sending the cheap clothes. :-))))
        Talk about a lack of communication. :-)))) (#1 Lebanese problem)
        He stopped sending, and never went back again, far as I know.
        —————–
        Lebanon has not had ‘leaders’ to drag it up like the Germans did. NOT that Lebanese are more stupid than Germans … but they only have ‘religious brains’ making the ‘rules’, along with the little despots ‘protecting’ their villages.
        Sometimes, I wonder why we try ….

        • 5th ass

          Right ON!

          The remittances go to owing cell phones and spending most of their time in coffee,shops smoking Argile’, bullshitting, passing time!

          • 5thDrawer

            You’ve been infected a little with ‘anti-social’ thinking I see. Some DO need.

        • doron

          i dont think it’s a fair comparison 5th,
          germany was runied after a very violant war while lebanon is in an ongoing low level violance.
          this german block thought he is saving (probably was in the first 5 years) his family from cold and starvation whill the lebanies know their relatives will not die if he doesn’t send.

          • 5thDrawer

            Yes, the German was a blockhead – should have read the news over the years. You think my ‘Leb friends’ will not die if I don’t send, then you don’t know them or their particular needs. Like food and water. No jobs. Main reason? They are women. And ALWAYS locked into a war.

  • libnan1

    Lebanon needs to float their currency (Lira) and let the chips fall where they may. This artificial support of the lira will cause future devaluation. The only solution is for Lebanese Christians money to make its way back to Lebanon. And only the way for that to happen is by creating stability by crowning the GREAT as the ultimate dictator.

    • 5thDrawer

      Now I know you had too much Arak. (And what happened to the Pound? LL) (never mind … only use USA$ anyway πŸ˜‰

    • 5th ass

      And now Lebanon is Christian nation? when will you get out this mentality big boy grow up , calling on a stability based on this mentality, will never happen in your life time.

      • 5thDrawer

        It Was the ‘past’ … the thing you all fight for. :-)))

      • libnan1

        I don’t mean Lebanon becoming a Christian nation by any means. What I mean is for Lebanon to prosper is by Lebanese Christian money or for that matter all Lebanese money to be invested back in Lebanon. There are trillion of $$$ invested overseas by Lebanese and if all that cash comes back Lebanon will become a very prosperous nation. We just need stability.

        • …some guy

          Libnan, not to put down or make light of your love and optimism for lebanon but lets be honest about it, Lebanon is a pretty girl with a horrible personality!! kind of like owning a ferrari instead of a toyota corolla . there is a reason so many people who love lebanon fall out of love with lebanon. there comes a time in life where what matters are the thing you can control in making a difference for those you care about and frankly lebanon is totally controled by forces that dont care about the little guy, lebanese are generaly smart and good business people and no doubt at least enjoy visiting the home land but even that is now virtually deminished putting a massive burden on the economy from a tourism industry that was worth bragging about to almost weekly warnings to stay away.

          • libnan1

            Geo, my friend Lebanon will never die. Lebanon has a monopoly not many countries have it’s landscape not some of the people that live in it. “Lebanon is a pretty girl with a horrible personality!!” but you still like to date that pretty girl …:). You know we have some of the most talented professionals in the world. Look around you and you’ll see it. My point was if these talented people are given the opportunity (again nothing more than stability) we all would love to go back, invest in Lebanon. I guaranty you we can have a silicon valley like right in Lebanon. I know some of the best techies out there that are Lebanese.
            BTW a major contributor to the computer language JAVA (internet based language) was a Lebanese.

          • …some guy

            You are 100% correct about the stability factor, until it happens I will take the pretty girl and you can keep the bad personality!! πŸ™‚

        • 5th ass

          That I agree !
          Most wealth Lebanese will never go back to Lebanon, let it alone invest in the land..

      • AfRyT

        You don’t expect that Lebanon will grow its economy by means of Islamic mentality huh?
        And for Your information Lebanon is a Christian Nation created in the Year 451 in the Conceil of Caledonia, That is 171 Years before Islam was created. Is now 1,392 years of war in Our Nation, and spare Me the corruption thing, You can’t throw the first stone.

        Lebanon needs an economic revolution, We need to change the mind set of People from War to Business, from Radicalism to moderation.
        Lebanon should be respected as a Fundamentally Christian Nation with Liberty to worship Your Own religion without intruding or trying to destroy Christianity, If Lebanon has survived the brutality of Islamists is because of Christianity, otherwise would have been converted to extremism, and those who criticize Our Christian Government as corrupt, should take a good look of Yourselves in the mirror, barking and drooling for the so called “Pocket of defeat” Hurting Islam.

        The Half Moon Fertile that We had from JesusChrist to the Year 622 can come back if We all respect each other and learn to recognize extremism inside Our Own faiths.

        • 5th ass

          REALLY! “Christian Nation created in the Year 451 in the Conceil of Caledonia” and how old are you ?

          • Igor Chingoski

            You should be called “5ore ass” LOL. I tell You, what did You learn at the Madrasas? knocking Your head on the wall? Like some folks do it south…?
            As a mater of fact Lebanon is much older than that, but was declared Christian Maronite Nation as AfRyT says in the year 451, And He is old enough to kick Your “Sore ass” and I am too, and I don’t like You a bit! So stop playing tough ebn charmouta.

          • 5th ass

            LOL..

          • 5th ass

            meet me in Zgarta and see how man you are! show up be a MAN!

  • libnan1

    Lebanon needs to float their currency (Lira) and let the chips fall where they may. This artificial support of the lira will cause future devaluation. The only solution is for Lebanese Christians money to make its way back to Lebanon. And only the way for that to happen is by creating stability by crowning the GREAT as the ultimate dictator.

    • 5thDrawer

      Now I know you had too much Arak. (And what happened to the Pound? LL) (never mind … only use USA$ anyway πŸ˜‰

    • 5th ass

      And now Lebanon is Christian nation? when will you get out this mentality big boy grow up , calling on a stability based on this mentality, will never happen in your life time.

      • 5thDrawer

        Was the ‘past’ … the thing you all fight for. :-)))

      • libnan1

        I don’t mean Lebanon becoming a Christian nation by any means. What I mean is for Lebanon to prosper is by Lebanese Christian money or for that matter all Lebanese money to be invested back in Lebanon. There are trillion of $$$ invested overseas by Lebanese and if all that cash comes back Lebanon will become a very prosperous nation. We just need stability.

        • Geo

          Libnan, not to put down or make light of your love and optimism for lebanon but lets be honest about it, Lebanon is a pretty girl with a horrible personality!! kind of like owning a ferrari instead of a toyota corolla . there is a reason so many people who love lebanon fall out of love with lebanon. there comes a time in life where what matters are the thing you can control in making a difference for those you care about and frankly lebanon is totally controled by forces that dont care about the little guy, lebanese are generaly smart and good business people and no doubt at least enjoy visiting the home land but even that is now virtually deminished putting a massive burden on the economy from a tourism industry that was worth bragging about to almost weekly warnings to stay away.

          • libnan1

            Geo, my friend Lebanon will never die. Lebanon has a monopoly not many countries have it’s landscape not some of the people that live in it. “Lebanon is a pretty girl with a horrible personality!!” but you still like to date that pretty girl …:). You know we have some of the most talented professionals in the world. Look around you and you’ll see it. My point was if these talented people are given the opportunity (again nothing more than stability) we all would love to go back, invest in Lebanon. I guaranty you we can have a silicon valley like right in Lebanon. I know some of the best techies out there that are Lebanese.
            BTW a major contributor to the computer language JAVA (internet based language) was a Lebanese.

          • Geo

            You are 100% correct about the stability factor, until it happens I will take the pretty girl and you can keep the bad personality!! πŸ™‚

        • 5th ass

          That I agree !
          Most wealth Lebanese will never go back to Lebanon, let it alone invest in the land..

      • AfRyT

        You don’t expect that Lebanon will grow its economy by means of Islamic mentality huh?
        And for Your information Lebanon is a Christian Nation created in the Year 451 in the Conceil of Caledonia, That is 171 Years before Islam was created. Is now 1,392 years of war in Our Nation, and spare Me the corruption thing, You can’t throw the first stone.

        Lebanon needs an economic revolution, We need to change the mind set of People from War to Business, from Radicalism to moderation.
        Lebanon should be respected as a Fundamentally Christian Nation with Liberty to worship Your Own religion without intruding or trying to destroy Christianity, If Lebanon has survived the brutality of Islamists is because of Christianity, otherwise would have been converted to extremism, and those who criticize Our Christian Government as corrupt, should take a good look of Yourselves in the mirror, barking and drooling for the so called “Pocket of defeat” Hurting Islam.

        The Half Moon Fertile that We had from JesusChrist to the Year 622 can come back if We all respect each other and learn to recognize extremism inside Our Own faiths.

        • 5th ass

          REALLY! “Christian Nation created in the Year 451 in the Conceil of Caledonia” and how old are you ?

          • Igor Chingoski

            You should be called “5ore ass” LOL. I tell You, what did You learn at the Madrasas? knocking Your head on the wall? Like some folks do it south…?
            As a mater of fact Lebanon is much older than that, but was declared Christian Maronite Nation as AfRyT says in the year 451, And He is old enough to kick Your “Sore ass” and I am too, and I don’t like You a bit! So stop playing tough ebn charmouta.

          • 5th ass

            You seem you got it hard…that worked for me ! ya mastool ass

          • 5th ass

            meet me in the south and see how man you are! show up be a MAN!