kottke.org posts about Farouk al-Kasim

Norway's greatest value creatorAug 31 2009

The FT has a profile of Farouk al-Kasim, an Iraqi who immigrated to Norway as a young man and helped the country set up their sizeable oil concern. His biggest contribution was helping Norway cope with the discovery of oil.

Poor countries dream of finding oil like poor people fantasise about winning the lottery. But the dream often turns into a nightmare as new oil exporters realise that their treasure brings more trouble than help. Juan Pablo Perez Alfonso, one time Venezuelan oil minister, likened oil to "the devil's excrement". Sheikh Ahmed Yamani, his Saudi Arabian counterpart, reportedly said: "I wish we had found water."

Oil expertise was so scarce in the Nordic country when al-Kasim arrived that an innocent query at the Ministry of Industry turned into a job that paid him more than Norway's prime minister. (via gulfstream)

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