Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bricking the Camel

I was at an economists' conference, in Trinity College, Dublin, yesterday, on the present economic and financial crisis.

In introducing his presentation, Patrick Honohan used the image of the camel. I thought he was going to dwell on the traditional view of the camel as a horse designed by a committee, and then go on to point out the many shapes the proposed NAMA might take. But no! CAMEL is an acronym of the headings under which banking performance is assessed.

Nevertheless, this poor unfortunate animal may well be an accurate representation of where we are now at. We don't have a unique solution to the current problem. Economists are offering varying elements towards one, but nobody seems to have a complete handle on the wider picture.

It's a case of onward and upward, per ardua ad astra, brick the camel and set out to cross the desert regardless.

For those not familiar with the process of bricking the camel, I should explain. You take two large bricks, one in each hand, and when the camel is drinking in his supply of water, you apply the bricks to his testicles in one sharp clap. The resultant intake of breath, and consequently of water, ensures the camel is adequately provisioned for the long journey ahead.

Honohan's presentation can be found here (4MB pdf) and links to the other presentations and papers here.


Drover said...

I can think of a few two legged camels that could do with a good bricking for getting us into this mess.

I suppose, however, that remark makes me a sexist and at the same time lets the two legged lady camels off scotfree?

Thema said...

"and set out to cross the desert regardless"

Given the current severe non-popularity of FF, and the shenanigans across the water with voters furious over the MP expenses scandal, it does seem like treading new ground and not being very sure of the outcome. But whatever it turns out to be, I'm quite convinced that it will be better than before. Rampant spending on non-essential items (mainly to impress the Joneses and provide retail therapy/opium for the masses) never got anyone very far. And it got the housing market into fairytale land.

As an animal lover I'm not keen on the bricking story, and I doubt if you'd finding it amusing if you were the camel, but that's by the by.

Anonymous said...

As a dweller from across the water who believes the story that the bankers (?) have done more damage than the MP's to the tune of it taking 300 years of MP's to put right what the feckin' (borrowed with thanks) bankers did, it strikes me as choice that the latter should be able to pay themselves bonuses before getting the rest of us out of hock.

Póló said...


You think those feckin wankers are going to get us out of hock? They have left us to stew in it.

Bring back the stocks (public not financial).

300 years of MPs is only 6 months per MP. Not enough.

Irish TDs please copy.

Jaysus give me patience.

Anonymous said...

No I don't, not without a lot of fur and bloodshed (I'm up for it).
Our MP's now think they have done enough to regain our (UK Electorate's) confidence!
You couldn't make it up.

henry o'tani said...

As I recall the ESSENTIAL missing punch line to the joke (with typical British Irony) was:-

Listener: "Jeez! That must be really painful?"

Narrator: "Nah .. not if you don't get your fingers caught between the bricks'