Nine months has been a long time to wait for a new government in Iraq, but the process has happened peacefully and constitutionally, and Bull is encouraged by that. There is evidence that Iraq can avoid much of the “oil curse” and build a more cosmopolitan and modern economy than those of its autocratic neighbors. Iraq’s greatest resource is its famously resourceful, tough, educated, and enterprising people. Whereas the capitals of the Gulf oil monarchies did not have paved streets a generation or two ago, Baghdad and Basra are ancient capitals of commerce, ideas, and global finance. However, Iraq still faces the challenge of overcoming inefficient bureaucracy, rampant corruption, and sporadic violence.
Bull, a former journalist, is a founder of Northern Gulf Partners, an Iraq-focused investment bank.