Share good ideas and conversation.   Login, Join Us, or Take a Tour!
comment by goobster
goobster  ·  656 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Saudi crown prince just made a risky power play

There are dark rooms in the basements of government buildings in Virginia and Maryland where people with high level security access are sitting up late at night mapping out possible Saudi futures.

The House of Saud is a byzantine network of political, familial, and social connections and loyalties and debts and credits, and it all happens in rooms built upon more cash than most people can imagine.

MBS has moved from nobody to a very interesting next-in-line-to-the-throne-and-the-purse-strings position. And he's young. And he's a poor strategist. And he has weirdly liberal tendencies (women driving was his issue he pushed through) while also coveting and keeping a laser-focus on the sole goal of obtaining the absolute power of the monarch.

And it hasn't even been 20 years.

Shit's gonna get REAL interesting in the next 5 years or so, when his dad kicks the bucket or abdicates to his #1 Son.

(This isn't even touching on the web of interrelationships between the bin-Laden construction family, and the House of Saud. That's a whole 'nother scary pile of shit.)




kleinbl00  ·  656 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Matt Damon, paraphrasing Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum: "My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel"

Depending on who you ask, Saudi Arabia hit peak oil production somewhere between 2000 and 2012. MBS is actively attempting to map a future without oil in a country that not only has nothing but oil, but isn't even hardly a country.

    Imagine if the Ku Klux Klan or Aryan Nation obtained total control of Texas and had at its disposal all the oil revenues, and used this money to establish a network of well-endowed schools and colleges all over Christendom peddling their particular brand of Christianity. This was what the Saudis have done with Wahhabism. The oil money has enabled them to spread this fanatical, destructive form of Islam all over the Muslim world and among Muslims in the West. Without oil and the creation of the Saudi kingdom, Wahhabism would have remained a lunatic fringe.

- Dore Gold

I think MBS is standing on top of the world's tallest Jenga tower fully knowing that it could topple at any minute, but knowing he'll never strengthen it without pulling out some tiles.

I don't even give it five years. Two on the outside.

goobster  ·  655 days ago  ·  link  ·  

How much money - cash - does the House of Saud hold?

Even with hundreds of princes and princelings spending it like... well... like a Saudi Royal spends cash, it's going to take longer than that to deplete their reserves.

And between now and then, maybe they install 100 sq miles of solar panels, and an electric "pipeline", and provide the entire Middle East with power for pennies.

I dunno. I expect they have a very deep reserve, and it will take some time to deplete it.

kleinbl00  ·  655 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Somewhere between zero and 100% of Saudi Aramco's holdings. Saudi Aramco thinks they have 2 trillion dollars worth of oil reserves. Bloomberg thinks they have $400 billion.

I don't think Saudi Arabia divests 10% of Aramco when the West thinks they're off by a factor of 5... unless they have to.

they're now talking about listing it in Russia or China which would be a big FU to the United States... and considering Iran is a lot closer to Russia than they are to us, could be interesting.