Iraqis have money but lack know-how in spending it

BAGHDAD – Iraq's government has an unusual money problem as much of the world grapples with a credit crunch — it can't spend its oil riches fast enough.

The U.S. is trying to change that by training Iraqi bureaucrats struggling to emerge from a centralized system in which nearly all decisions — from where to build a water treatment plant to which workers would do the job — came from the top.

Money also was scarce for more than a decade after the U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions to punish Saddam Hussein's regime for the 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

"Our efforts are devoted to helping the Iraqis spend their own money," said Marc Wall, the U.S. Embassy's coordinator for economic transition in Iraq. "We've zeroed in on it in the last year or two."

We would like to teach them how to spend their money..Yeah Right.

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