Payback Time

GUSTAVO FERRARI/AP

An oil worker fixes a valve at the Wafra oil field, in the southern Kuwaiti

It was supposed to be the mother of all retirement accounts. For more than a decade starting in the mid-1970s, Kuwait stashed away a portion of its hefty oil revenues into a fund that was not to be touched until its oil dried up. But after the 1990 Iraqi invasion, Kuwait liquidated more than half the stocks in the $90 billion Future Generations Fund to finance reconstruction. By selling its holdings when it did, Kuwait missed out on billions of dollars in gains it could have expected from the roaring bull market in stocks that followed the end of the war....

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