Adonis Diaries

Lebanon National Debt: A rough computation?

Posted on: July 5, 2018

Lebanon National Debt: A rough computation?

Note: this article was published in 2013 and nothing changed but the amount of debt that ballooned from barely $9 bn in 1993 to $90 bn (or 130% of Lebanon GDP. Same as in Greece). A third of the budget goes to repaying the interset on the debt

As clear as water….thank you George Sabat !
The story of the Lebanese National debt is simple to tell to the uninitiated citizen who cannot understand how a small country like Lebanon could have built a $60 billion (reached 90 this year of 2018) debt in the short space of 20 years.
It starts with an initial budget deficit of some $2 billion of Lebanese Budget in 1993 to which one ought to add the entire civil war reconstruction cost that amounted to some $7 billion as declared officially and detailed by the Authorities in their famous book: “Rebuilding Lebanon”.
From this initial debt of some $9 billion that has never been repaid, one ought to add the accumulated compound interest at the end of every year.
Of course the table shown below is not the authentic one that appears in the Government Accounts but, for the uninitiated, it explains clearly enough how this Debt has grown from an initial amount of nine billion US dollars in 1993 to reach today over sixty billion US dollars.
The Authorities will never explain to you such matters so simply.
They will use a lot of complicated and obscure terms and definitions to keep you in the dark over a matter which is, after all, frighteningly simple.
The people of Lebanon, represented by their government (that is you and me and four and a half million other Lebanese citizens) borrowed in 1993 some two billion US dollars, then another seven billion US dollars to pay for the reconstruction.
The rest, or some $53.5 billion is the amount of interest paid to bankers and foreign depositors over the past twenty years. That’s all folks.
Note 1: The late Rafic Hariri PM clan (known as the Future movement, Al Moustakbal) pread the word to its close friends to deposit their wealth at 18% interest rate and each one of them reaped millions in 3 years.
Most of the borrowed money were distributed to the militia/mafia leaders who kept running the country after the war. No political party won the war, but the militia leaders stayed in power and were absolved of all the killing and mischief against humanity they committed during the war
Note 2: After the assassination of Rafic Hariri in 2004, his wealth amounted to $14 bn  (from barely $2 bn when he first became Prime Minister with the total support of the Syrian regime of Hafez and then his son Bashar Assad) and his family members paid just a single million as taxes to the government run by his protegee’ Fouad Seniora PM
Note 3: It is common knowledge that Rafic gave his first wife to the Saudi Monarch Fahd to marry.
Note 4: Lebanon has since been begging borrowed money for no economic reasons, and the loaners didn’t mind to raise Lebanon national debt to $90 bn (130% of its GDP). Obviously, those loans are meant to take Lebanon hostage for later deals related to regional situation and giving the Palestinian refugees the nationality.
Note 5: More than a third of the population are in the public sector and most of them don’t even show up to work and receive another third of the budget.

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adonis49

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