The resource curse refers to the failure of resource-rich countries to reap benefits from their natural wealth.
Resource-cursed countries tend to be more prone to conflict, corruption, and economic instability. Competitiveness is eroded as the real exchange rate appreciates, growth is jobless, governments adopt pro-cyclical fiscal policies, commodity dependency intensifies, and vulnerability to external shocks increases.
There might be few deadlier curses than the combination of a corrupt government and a sick private sector.
Unfortunately, as a recent report shows, Iraq is afflicted with exactly such a curse.