By Andrew Alderson
In 2003, Andrew Alderson gave up his job as a director of a London merchant bank hoping to find a new direction in life. Then, as an officer in the Territorial Army, he was called up to serve in Iraq. On his first day in Basra, he was asked if he knew 'anything about finance' and then was suddenly put in charge of sorting out Basra's Central Bank and running a multi-million pound economy. The US gives him authority for over one fifth of Iraq's finances and he becomes known as 'that merchant banker in Basra'. But Andrew and his team are never quite on Baghdad's radar, or under its orders. He quickly understands that there's another route to stability: getting the cash flowing again. This means frequent, hair-raising adventures delivering suitcases, crates and binbags stuffed with millions of dollars wherever needed and by whatever means - in helicopters, speedboats, planes and landrovers. "Bankrolling Basra" is a human drama that brings alive the courage, dedication and humour of those trying to rebuild Iraq. It is a unique, often witty and always honest account of how one man found himself in the middle of one of the most crucial episodes in modern history.