Irrational Exuberance? Libya Expects $1 Trillion in Foreign Cash

War-Torn Nation's Economy Minister Raves About Foreign Investment Prospects

In Dubai today for the annual investment convention, Libya’s National Transitional Council Minister of the Economy, Ahmad Salem al-Koshly, predicted massive influxes of foreign cash into the ashes of post-Civil War Libya.

Koshly insisted there was a thrilling amount of interest in “long-term” investment in Libya, and said that the country was counting on $1 trillion in foreign cash pouring into the nation to rebuild, from the West and from the Middle East.

How they’re going to court this much cash is unclear, with post-war Libya still far from stable, and fights between nominally pro-NTC factions breaking out on a near weekly basis, and analysts still predicting a second civil war breaking out along any number of factional lines.

Companies like Italy’s Eni and France’s Total SA may be salivating at the prospect of getting a share of Libya’s oil, but investment in Libya has historically been a very dicey proposition, and it is hard to see how the NTC could even theoretically guarantee the safety of foreign capital in the country when no one seems quite sure they’re ever going to be able to decisively rule the country at all.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.