Friday, 24 November 2017

The Saudi Story

If you follow the page two Saudi news, which few journalists in the US are really discussing, we have this lego-like story brewing: the king bought off on corruption and money-laundering taking place.  The king agreed to arrest thirty-odd princes, accused of corruption, and put them into the five-star Riyadh Ritz-Carlton hotel.  The king (at least through his son running the investigation) has agreed to interrogate the princes, possibly torture them to get to the facts, and there is this suggestion that princes will have to turn over the bulk of their wealth....to exit or survive (probably into the 500 billion-plus range).

What really happens next?  I would offer this observation:

1.  While the thirty princes are being the chief target.....just about every other single rich Saudi is watching this play out and likely moving their money out of reach of the Kingdom.  Internal investment?  I'd suggest that within three months....there's going to be serious problems in Saudi banking circles.

2.  The families of the thirty princes?  I would suggest that all have reviewed options and might go to ISIS to hire up their thugs to come into Saudi Arabia and start a civil war.

3.  The Saudi ability to react to a ISIS threat?  Minimal.  They will have to ask for US assistance.  Trump?  He'll quote some outrageous price of a billion dollars a week, and the Saudis will have to pay it, or go to some outsider (the Russians for example).

4.  All of this is entertaining for the Iranians.  If you shut down Saudi oil sales during an ISIS civil war....Iran can make up for the sales and gain the profits.  Oil prices? Currently at $55 to $60 a barrel. With a crisis?  It'll go to $100 easily.....maybe $120.  Iran benefits from this. The Saudis hate this.

So, you might want to stand back and observe this development.  A change is coming, and you can't be sure who will be standing at the end.  Saudi Arabia as a nation....might not exist in two years.  ISIS might be the 'cure' for the Saudi woes. 

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