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Before It's Too Late ...

Post Conflict Reconstruction
02 August 2010

Markets hate uncertainty, but history has shown us that times of uncertainty create the greatest opportunities.

Warren Buffett's famous saying, "be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful", is true whether referring to the stock market or to risk-taking in general.

And Iraq is giving us plenty of risk and uncertainty at the moment:

  • Security: What will happen when US combat forces are withdrawn?
  • Government: Who will eventually win this titanic battle? Did Tuesday's meeting in Damascus between the secular Ayad Allawi and anti-U.S. Shia'ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr bring us any closer to a resolution?
  • Hydrocarbon law: As we've reported, both al-Maliki and Allawi are committed to honouring the existing contracts, but will the Supreme Court uphold them as valid? We'll update you on this as soon as the Court makes a ruling.

But the fact that these issues are coming to a head now means that they will be resolved sooner rather than later. Companies like and are not letting these factors delay their plans, while others are seeing this as exactly the right time to get into Iraq.

Instead of waiting for everything to be resolved, the French government, for example, is building a heavily fortified and boutique hotel where businessmen can sleep, eat and work in safety. They're not ignoring the risks, but they're seizing the opportunities while they are still available.