Friday, April 1

April Fool: "Oil Falls As Saudi Arabia Questions Freeze Deal"

After all that huffing and puffing, the Saudis are re-thinking. More April 1 foolery from Bloomberg's publication of a marathon March 30 interview with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who doffed his headdress for the five-hour gab fest, which thankfully included dinner. Saudi Arabia Plans $2 Trillion Megafund for Post-Oil Era: Deputy Crown Prince.

If only there was a way to convert hot air into energy output. What is not hot air are the following passages from the Bloomberg article (which is accompanied by a video of the lead interviewer's discussion about the interview):
An International Monetary Fund study in 2014 noted there were “many examples of failure” by countries trying to reduce reliance on energy production and few successes. Gulf Arab monarchies may have missed their best chance when oil prices were above $100 a barrel rather than about $40 now.
“It is clear Saudi Arabia needs to reform, diversify, and re-energize its economy, but this will involve more than just increasing investments in non-oil industries,” said Paul Sullivan, a professor of security studies at Georgetown University in Washington. “One cannot order economic reforms like a multiple course dinner.”
Taking Control
Prince Mohammed has consolidated more power than anyone in his position since the founding of the kingdom in 1932. His attempt to shake up the economy comes against the backdrop of mounting domestic security threats and regional turmoil, with the Sunni-ruled kingdom fighting a war in Yemen against Shiite rebels it says are backed by Iran.
As Defense Minister, Prince Mohammed leads the military effort. He also oversees ministries including finance, oil and the economy through the Council for Economic and Development Affairs. The council, which was established after his father became king, also controls the Public Investment Fund.
We're seeing this same consolidation of power in one man in China and Turkey. Might be the same for Egypt as well.  


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