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Projections of Iraq's GDP growth also remind us of the IMF's historical overestimations. In January, the IMF and US treasury were predicting Iraq's GDP to grow over 10% in 2006, even though Iraq's 2005 GDP growth was only about four percent. Why would there be a difference of this degree? Is it simply optimism or something else?

John Perkins, in his memoir _Confessions of an Economic Hit Man_, pointed out that a high predicted GDP meant large loans were given to countries. Thos large loans meant large profits to foreign contractors called in to work on these projects. Though he personally worked on projects in the late seventies and eighties, it's hard to ignore the similarities between his memoir and current events in Iraq. Besides, as we've seen in our own economy over the last six years - or in Iraq over the last three months - things can change, rapidly. You wouldn't take out a larger mortgage if the bank guessed you'd get a raise that year - but that's exactly what Iraq's being asked to do.