It doesn't seem that there's a record of me writing about this lecture, but in my mind I was convinced I did. In any case... It was the first day of the World Cup this past summer, the world was still trying to figure out what that noise coming out from the TV was, and 3 million tourists were conspiring against Fadi Abboud by booking trips to Lebanon only to cancel in the very last minute.
Charbel Nahas, minister of missed calls, was giving a lecture at Al Madina theater about the Lebanese economy. I would say around 50 people were in attendance, but you can get a more accurate number from the state "intelligence" apparatus that sent this photographer who was there to capture a a mug shot for every single person in attendance.
Without naming anyone or throwing out any accusations a la libanaise, Nahas gave an intelligent comprehensive look at the Lebanese economy over the years: how enough cash inflow has kept it afloat, what happens when the lifeline dries up a bit, how the massive amounts of cash are consumed, etc... He also went on to talk about how things work in the cabinet, and how hard it is to get something on the agenda, and that the major thing he was hoping to accomplish in the budget war was to get all the expenditures accounted for on paper something you'd think is a given. Well it isn't. A lot of official spending of public money is done off the books, and we're not talking about all the unofficial spending.
During Q&A, I was tempted to ask about the average IQ in the room when the cabinet is in session, since I have my doubts that the comprehension capacity of some ministers including the prime one can handle economic theory. Unfortunately I didn't get my answer then as the microphone never reached me.
I did get my answer my yesterday when the Prime Minister broke into the "my daddy can kick your daddy's ass" rap against Nahas. The Hariri court chorus took over from there, and boy oh boy was I mistaken. Silly me expecting them to understand Economics, how about we start with playground rhetoric... Maybe throw in a few Yo Momma jokes. Eventually the kids will grow up.