The Saudi Purge: Everything You Need To Know About Alwaleed And Bin Salman’s ‘Unprecedented’ Power Grab

The Saudi Purge: Everything You Need To Know About Alwaleed And Bin Salman’s ‘Unprecedented’ Power Grab

The Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh, the de facto royal hotel, was evacuated on Saturday, stirring rumors that it would be used to house detained royals. The airport for private planes was closed, arousing speculation that the crown prince was seeking to block rich businessmen from fleeing before more arrests. That right there - from the New York Times - in many ways encapsulates the farcical nature of what's going on in Saudi Arabia, where Mohammed bin Salman is essentially moving to consolidate
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21 thoughts on “The Saudi Purge: Everything You Need To Know About Alwaleed And Bin Salman’s ‘Unprecedented’ Power Grab

  1. Nice report on a nation..really a bank account on top of oil wells…that’s a few short steps from irrelevancy. The idea that the Saudis were ever our allies shows how pathetically dependent on oil we became..worse than heroin addiction..far worse.
    The Saudis need to stop trying to play Sunni tough guy in the Middle East and instead focus on how they can economically stay afloat in the next ten years…and safeguard their very vulnerable oil infrastructure.

    1. As a trader, IMO it’s premature to completely write off oil. I’ve been on the right side of that trade all year. And in the popular media I still hear too much recency bias (of the low prices). Anyone who thinks oil will disappear and/or stay cheap (on account of the imaginary oil glut and the renewable energy forever nonsense) will be in for a rude financial shock – like the fools who bought big gas-guzzling SUV’s while oil was a quarter of the price that it will gradually become later.

      The brief US fracking reprieve might be ending, and US oil dependence could return with a vengeance – just as the US has lost the petrodollar and been replaced with the petroyuan.

      But yes Saudi needs protection and nobody but the US can provide it today. Certainly not China (yet)….. Maybe Russia….interesting!

  2. Very informative article. I wonder though if the motivation for this power grab has to do with the removal of the more militant, or what I would call orthodox, influences of Islam from the kingdom. That would be remarkable.

  3. H-Really good stuff, well done even I could understand the sequence of events. In my opinion this is a wait an see moment. The Middle East is sitting on a delicate bomb, some trying to diffuse it or with a terrified grin some want to pull the pin and start WW lll?

    1. yeah and I mean when it’s something like this i try to wait at least 12 hours so I can read enough of the commentary and reporting to make sure i’m saying things that are true and intelligent.

      there are another couple of blogs who cover this stuff, one of which I know is run by people with zero political science training and they just blasted this out with a bunch of tweets and random, haphazard quotes.

      that’s a common strategy. what those blogs rely on is the fact that news outlets can’t go to print until they do some cursory fact checking and get a few soundbites from excerpts, so a couple of these blogs can effectively corner the search traffic market for a few hours by embedding a bunch of tweets and slapping a headline on it. it’s a good tactic for traffic, because by the time the wires overwhelm them, they’ve already generated hundreds of thousands of clicks. but i just can’t bring myself to do that on something like this where there’s an actual backstory with actual history involved.

      so i let it slide overnight and woke up early to do a better piece. it costs me some clicks sometimes, but oh well. i’d rather post stuff that’s meaningful than become a click-chaser.

    1. f-society, your comment actually reminded me of this “decades away” concept that is pursued by the huge population of under 30 year olds in Saudi. I can see your point and I also think that Saudi Arabia has a certain desire to blend in more with the majority of the world – there has been other news making issues that support that desire. Recently changing the laws to allow women to drive in June 2018 is a good step!

      Then I found this article that clearly sets forth “the plan”

      Which really tweaked my interest to know about your mention of Neom — this city plan sounds like some movie set in a futuristic city! I will not be alive when that (if that) develops just as my ancestors were not alive to see Man actually walking on the moon.


  4. ^ If so what is the impact, if any, on Saudi-China (Saudi’s biggest customer and reportedly its most desired future ally) and Russia-Saudi (recalling that just a month ago a Saudi King (Salman) visited Russia and Putin for the first time ever and bought a heap of arms).

  5. Maybe Alwaleed got sacked for reading about bitcoin here in Sept and then selling it for $3000…..j/k, lol

    Some places you lose your job for screwing up a trade badly; other places you lose your life… it’s a great motivator to get the trade right!

  6. The Saudis need oil higher, to try to diversity their economy.

    Withdrawing from Paris climate agreement increases our dependance on carbon resources.

    Tillerson is secretary of state for multiple reasons.

    You can’t help but think there are some deeply connected plans on getting oil higher.

  7. Saw this tweet, I wish I’d written it – “World watches in shock as it realizes Saudi Arabia may not be the progressive free market democracy everyone thought it was.”

  8. “World watches in shock as it realizes Saudi Arabia may not be the progressive free market democracy everyone thought it was.”

    No disrespect Huw, but you clearly have no idea how the kingdom operates…

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