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Khaleeji Capital and the Middle East

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Abstract

Soon after the US-led invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq in 2003, a range of authors commented critically on the profound economic changes that followed in the wake of the US presence. Under the tutelage of US diplomat Paul Bremer, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) signed into law one hundred military orders that transformed the nature of Iraq’s political economy.1 These laws included measures to privatize 200 state-owned companies, establish a flat tax of 15 percent with no distinction between individuals and foreign corporations, made it illegal to limit foreign ownership in the economy, and even restricted Iraqi farmers from saving their seeds from one season to the next (thereby compelling them to purchase seeds from large agribusiness conglomerates). Differing from the standard neoliberal prescriptions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank only in the manner in which they were introduced—through military invasion rather than an agreement with the country’s elite—it appeared to many that these new laws were designed to open up the Iraqi economy to a wave of US ownership. Many commentators expected that large US corporations would soon take advantage of the end of restrictions on foreign ownership to buy up wide swathes of the Iraqi economy—real estate, telecommunications, retail, finance, and, of course, the world’s second-largest supplies of oil and gas (Looney 2003; Juhasz 2004; Whyte 2007).2

Keywords

  • Saudi Arabia
  • Middle East
  • Banking Sector
  • Private Equity
  • Foreign Ownership

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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  • DOI: 10.1057/9780230119604_6
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© 2011 Adam Hanieh

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Hanieh, A. (2011). Khaleeji Capital and the Middle East. In: Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230119604_6

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