Tom Kirkman

Aramco IPO magic trick

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Hocus Pokus Presto!  A successful Aramco IPO means MBS keeps his head attached to his neck.  Pretty cool trick.  Nail biter for the audience, with lots of smoke and mirrors (and bombs in Yemen).

Aramco Scraps US And London IPO Roadshows Amid Too Many "Uncertainties"

Saudi Aramco has withdrawn from IPO roadshows in the US and London after it's likely they don't want to disclose oil reserve totals to Western banks and regulators. 

Meanwhile, it's becoming a giant circle-jerk for the Saudis, the IPO is expected to list on the Tadawul exchange, while the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) is expected to double the amount it would lend out to domestic "buyers" for IPO purchases, reported Bloomberg. 

Aramco set a price range Sunday for its IPO between $1.6 to $1.7 trillion, far below the $2 trillion levels the Saudi crown prince had imagined, but priced higher than most what most institutional analysts thought was possible.   ...

 

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(edited)

3 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

priced higher than most what most institutional analysts thought was possible.   ...

I wonder what their concerns were ... ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#bangyshooty.com

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17 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

Hocus Pokus Presto!  A successful Aramco IPO means MBS keeps his head attached to his neck. 

The people who got to keep their heads are the folks that were implementing the IPO for MBS. Everything he does is correct. 

In other news the international banks aren't getting the payout they anticipated. Couldn't happen to a nice bunch.

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Since I no longer need to worry about getting arrested or deported for speaking my mind on certain "sensitive" topics, let me throw this out there for consideration.

Both Saudi Aramco and Petronas are Religious National Oil Companies, used to finance their respective Muslim / Muslim majority governments.

Saudi Arabia is in serious financial trouble, spending waaaaaaaaaaaaaay more money than it makes.  Aramco may temporarily bail out the Saudi government with a cash infusion from an IPO. 

Malaysia's Religious National Oil Company (Petronas) is being pressured by Saudi Arabia to "invest" in the Aramco IPO, which apparently is being hawked as a "religious obligation" investment.  Petronas quid pro quo for Aramco investing money into Petronas Pengerang massive oil refinery complex in Malaysia.

My hunch is Petronas will get dragged down financially by being arm twisted into investing in the "religious" Aramco IPO - which apparently will not be offered openly in non - Muslim countries like USA and UK.  Aramco cannot comply with the Western norms of transparency and scrutiny typically required for IPOs.  So Aramco is apparently now going to be promoted primarily to Muslim countries - and I am leaning toward the notion that adjustments for religious / Hajj pilgrimage allocations per country will be a "hook" by Saudi Arabia for getting non - Western countries to invest in the Aramco IPO.

I'm curious how many Middle East / Muslim NOCs will be approached by Aramco / MBS to invest in the still - massively - overvalued Aramco IPO.  In my opinion, $1.7 trillion valuation is absurdly overvalued.

> > > Will MBS promise an increase in the annual allocation of Haj pilgrimages allowed for any Muslim NOC / country that invests in the Aramco IPO?  Or alternately, will any country that invests in Aramco IPO be allowed to bypass immigration procedures for Hajj pilgrims?

Saudi Aramco IPO Quid Pro Quo.

Malaysia has long been pushing Saudi Arabia for an increase in the annual number of Malaysians that are allowed to go to Mecca for Hajj pilgrimage.  My bet is if Petronas invests in the Aramco IPO, Malaysia will be granted an increase in the number of Malaysians allowed to perform the Hajj annually as a quid pro quo.

Of course no one dares say this bluntly, about the very clear "religion" angle of the Aramco IPO.  

Aramco IPO should be a disaster within a couple years for any institutional investor.

 

Related, obliquely:

https://www.halalzilla.com/hajj-2019-pilgrims-makkah-route/90158

"Saudi Arabia has welcomed over 54,453 hajj pilgrims during this first half of July. These pilgrims used the newly introduced ‘Makkah Road’ initiative which is a fast-track immigration clearance programme. 

The ‘Makkah Route’ initiative was launched during the 2018 hajj season in efforts to ease the immigration processes for pilgrims of both hajj and umrah. Malaysian and Indonesian pilgrims are the first ones to try out this new system.

This is due to Indonesia being the country with the largest Muslim population. Only a mere 23,000 pilgrims are allocated for 2019. The quota is allocated according to 0.1% of the Muslim population of each country. 

This fast-track immigration service includes visa administration, ensuring compliance with health requirements, and codifying and sorting luggage at airports of the pilgrims’ own countries. Ultimately, it would allow them to bypass immigration procedures upon arrival in Saudi Arabia. 

According to the Saudi government, over 34,192 Muslims flew to Medina via 57 flights. There are about 20,261 pilgrims who arrive into Jeddah on 50 flights. The hajj pilgrimage is expected to start on 9 August 2019."

================================

 

On a related note, I'm expecting a showdown to blow up soon between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.  Both dictatorships suck as far as I am concerned. Imam of Peace is stirring things up a bit - he is a White Hat in my opinion:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Imamofpeace/status/1177392092739358720

Iranian government is in trouble also, with riots in over 100 locations due to gasoline price hikes of double to triple prices.  Been hearing about Iranian officials preparing to flee the country if the shit hits the fan with the internal riots.  If the military flips, the Mullahs are toast.

All this makes unusual side issues for the Aramco IPO.  IMO, there *will* be quid pro quo of some sort dangled as incentive by Saudis for any Middle East NOC "investors" in the IPO.  And Saudi Arabia royalty will promptly skim money off the top, ensuring that the IPO will fail down the road.  Hey, the Saidi royalty needs more solid gold toilets, give them a break.

I'm going to be paying attention for any changes in Hajj quotas for countries that "invest" in the Aramco IPO.  Adjusting Hajj quotas won't cost Saudi Arabia a thing, which makes it an ideal quid pro quo for MBS to use as leverage to convince "investors".

 

This long comment may get Oil Price staff a bit nervous at my outspoken opinions.  Time to trot out my old tag line from the Oilpro days:

Just my opinion; as always, you are free to disagree.

 

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(edited)

16 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

Since I no longer need to worry about getting arrested or deported for speaking my mind on certain "sensitive" topics, let me throw this out there for consideration.

Both Saudi Aramco and Petronas are Religious National Oil Companies, used to finance their respective Muslim / Muslim majority governments.

Saudi Arabia is in serious financial trouble, spending waaaaaaaaaaaaaay more money than it makes.  Aramco may temporarily bail out the Saudi government with a cash infusion from an IPO. 

Malaysia's Religious National Oil Company (Petronas) is being pressured by Saudi Arabia to "invest" in the Aramco IPO, which apparently is being hawked as a "religious obligation" investment.  Petronas quid pro quo for Aramco investing money into Petronas Pengerang massive oil refinery complex in Malaysia.

My hunch is Petronas will get dragged down financially by being arm twisted into investing in the "religious" Aramco IPO - which apparently will not be offered openly in non - Muslim countries like USA and UK.  Aramco cannot comply with the Western norms of transparency and scrutiny typically required for IPOs.  So Aramco is apparently now going to be promoted primarily to Muslim countries - and I am leaning toward the notion that adjustments for religious / Hajj pilgrimage allocations per country will be a "hook" by Saudi Arabia for getting non - Western countries to invest in the Aramco IPO.

I'm curious how many Middle East / Muslim NOCs will be approached by Aramco / MBS to invest in the still - massively - overvalued Aramco IPO.  In my opinion, $1.7 trillion valuation is absurdly overvalued.

> > > Will MBS promise an increase in the annual allocation of Haj pilgrimages allowed for any Muslim NOC / country that invests in the Aramco IPO?  Or alternately, will any country that invests in Aramco IPO be allowed to bypass immigration procedures for Hajj pilgrims?

Saudi Aramco IPO Quid Pro Quo.

Malaysia has long been pushing Saudi Arabia for an increase in the annual number of Malaysians that are allowed to go to Mecca for Hajj pilgrimage.  My bet is if Petronas invests in the Aramco IPO, Malaysia will be granted an increase in the number of Malaysians allowed to perform the Hajj annually as a quid pro quo.

Of course no one dares say this bluntly, about the very clear "religion" angle of the Aramco IPO.  

Aramco IPO should be a disaster within a couple years for any institutional investor.

 

Related, obliquely:

https://www.halalzilla.com/hajj-2019-pilgrims-makkah-route/90158

"Saudi Arabia has welcomed over 54,453 hajj pilgrims during this first half of July. These pilgrims used the newly introduced ‘Makkah Road’ initiative which is a fast-track immigration clearance programme. 

The ‘Makkah Route’ initiative was launched during the 2018 hajj season in efforts to ease the immigration processes for pilgrims of both hajj and umrah. Malaysian and Indonesian pilgrims are the first ones to try out this new system.

This is due to Indonesia being the country with the largest Muslim population. Only a mere 23,000 pilgrims are allocated for 2019. The quota is allocated according to 0.1% of the Muslim population of each country. 

This fast-track immigration service includes visa administration, ensuring compliance with health requirements, and codifying and sorting luggage at airports of the pilgrims’ own countries. Ultimately, it would allow them to bypass immigration procedures upon arrival in Saudi Arabia. 

According to the Saudi government, over 34,192 Muslims flew to Medina via 57 flights. There are about 20,261 pilgrims who arrive into Jeddah on 50 flights. The hajj pilgrimage is expected to start on 9 August 2019."

================================

 

On a related note, I'm expecting a showdown to blow up soon between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.  Both dictatorships suck as far as I am concerned. Imam of Peace is stirring things up a bit - he is a White Hat in my opinion:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Imamofpeace/status/1177392092739358720

Iranian government is in trouble also, with riots in over 100 locations due to gasoline price hikes of double to triple prices.  Been hearing about Iranian officials preparing to flee the country if the shit hits the fan with the internal riots.  If the military flips, the Mullahs are toast.

All this makes unusual side issues for the Aramco IPO.  IMO, there *will* be quid pro quo of some sort dangled as incentive by Saudis for any Middle East NOC "investors" in the IPO.  And Saudi Arabia royalty will promptly skim money off the top, ensuring that the IPO will fail down the road.  Hey, the Saidi royalty needs more solid gold toilets, give them a break.

I'm going to be paying attention for any changes in Hajj quotas for countries that "invest" in the Aramco IPO.  Adjusting Hajj quotas won't cost Saudi Arabia a thing, which makes it an ideal quid pro quo for MBS to use as leverage to convince "investors".

 

This long comment may get Oil Price staff a bit nervous at my outspoken opinions.  Time to trot out my old tag line from the Oilpro days:

Just my opinion; as always, you are free to disagree.

 

1. Re your point that IPO will provide temp bailout of Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi 2019 projected budget deficit is $50 Billion.  An IPO of 1.5% at $1.6 Trillion valuation = $24 Billion raise.  Net negative $26 Billion. The raise does not even cover half this year's deficit.  So much for Vision 2030 with flying cars.

2. Re Iran riots

U.S. today sent more troops, aircraft and missile defense systems to Saudi Arabia to counter possible aggressive behavior from Iran. Afraid Iranian internal troubles will cause them to lash out.  Especially with the upcoming Aramco IPO.

3. IPO valuation is a joke.  They have to force entities to invest.  A complete embarrassment.

 

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Friend at Aramco said there is significant subtle pressure on employees both local and expat to buy Aramco shares. Once a lifetime opportunity!

Friend is going to play the savvy game and buy the minimum number for a quiet life although he is planning to jack it in next year on his 10 year anniversary.

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27 minutes ago, NickW said:

Friend at Aramco said there is significant subtle pressure on employees both local and expat to buy Aramco shares. Once a lifetime opportunity!

Friend is going to play the savvy game and buy the minimum number for a quiet life although he is planning to jack it in next year on his 10 year anniversary.

 

Aramco's 658-Page IPO Prospectus Comes Up Short

... Refining and chemicals amounted to less than 2% of Aramco’s operating income last year, so it could be argued what’s there in the pages is fine. But as Aramco’s own marketing tells us, expanding the downstream business is a priority — why else spend $69 billion for control of Saudi Basic Industries Corp.? Downstream operations are set to consume a quarter of the company’s $40 billion-plus annual capex budget.

Similarly, 40% of that budget is allocated to developing Aramco’s natural gas operations. Again, however, there is little disclosure about the economics of this business, apart from a summary of the resources, some price assumptions in the third-party upstream assessment and a qualitative description of the mechanism whereby Aramco gets compensated by the government for selling domestic gas at below-market rates.

Altogether, therefore, roughly two-thirds of Aramco’s capex is earmarked for developing  businesses that are likely to suppress its return on capital relative to upstream operations, at least in the near term. Even if these businesses are relatively small for now, helping investors get a more detailed understanding of what sort of profits (or losses) they have generated seems like a small ask.

I would say that, of course, but then Aramco isn’t selling stock to me. The point is that the best outcome from this IPO for both the company and its state owner would be eager participation by global money managers. Aramco has shied away from an international listing; Rosneft’s more detailed disclosure reflects its choice of London. Persuading rich Saudi Arabians to chip in may help with the day-one headlines, but the economic effect is more akin to domestic taxation than injecting foreign capital.  ...

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29 minutes ago, Tom Kirkman said:

 

Aramco's 658-Page IPO Prospectus Comes Up Short

... Refining and chemicals amounted to less than 2% of Aramco’s operating income last year, so it could be argued what’s there in the pages is fine. But as Aramco’s own marketing tells us, expanding the downstream business is a priority — why else spend $69 billion for control of Saudi Basic Industries Corp.? Downstream operations are set to consume a quarter of the company’s $40 billion-plus annual capex budget.

Similarly, 40% of that budget is allocated to developing Aramco’s natural gas operations. Again, however, there is little disclosure about the economics of this business, apart from a summary of the resources, some price assumptions in the third-party upstream assessment and a qualitative description of the mechanism whereby Aramco gets compensated by the government for selling domestic gas at below-market rates.

Altogether, therefore, roughly two-thirds of Aramco’s capex is earmarked for developing  businesses that are likely to suppress its return on capital relative to upstream operations, at least in the near term. Even if these businesses are relatively small for now, helping investors get a more detailed understanding of what sort of profits (or losses) they have generated seems like a small ask.

I would say that, of course, but then Aramco isn’t selling stock to me. The point is that the best outcome from this IPO for both the company and its state owner would be eager participation by global money managers. Aramco has shied away from an international listing; Rosneft’s more detailed disclosure reflects its choice of London. Persuading rich Saudi Arabians to chip in may help with the day-one headlines, but the economic effect is more akin to domestic taxation than injecting foreign capital.  ...

They will do exactly what they did when they opened up their stock markets to foreigners to pump the bubble. Westerners generally avoid the shares because of the lack of transparency and so they  suckered in loads of people from developing countries particularly those with similar religious convictions.

I know a Sudanese guy who lost a third of his Aramco termination bonus by $punking it on the Saudi Stock market

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They wouldn't be going to all of this trouble if they did not need the money from investors, right?

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19 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

Aramco IPO should be a disaster within a couple years for any institutional investor.

Fundamentally any investor in Armaco is actually fundamentally investing in MBS and the House of Saud. MBS is not the Wizard of Omaha.

Aramco just happens to be one of two things the Kingdom makes serious money on. Religious tourism is the other Kingdom cash cow. The hadj is big business. The most expensive hotel rooms on the planet are in Mekkah but there won't be an IPO for Mekkah. 

That the Protectors of the Two Holy Mosques would also pitch the IPO as a religious opportunity isn't surprising.

Allah will provide for KSA, inshallah. 

 

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Update, looks like my hunch was wrong.  Link sent to me by someone; note the very last bit ...

Malaysia's Petronas says will not participate in Aramco IPO

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian state energy company Petronas [PETR.UL] said on Friday it will not participate in Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering, expected to be the world’s biggest share sale.

Aramco plans to sell 1.5% of the company in the offering, looking to raise up to $25.6 billion and giving the company a potential market value of between $1.6 trillion and $1.7 trillion.

Earlier this month, Petronas had said it was approached by Aramco to participate in the Saudi oil giant’s listing.

“Petronas would like to confirm that after due consideration, the company has decided not to participate in Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering exercise,” Petronas said in an emailed statement.

Petronas and Aramco have a joint venture in a $27 billion refinery and petrochemicals complex in southern Malaysia that is set to start commercial operations this year.

Aramco kicked off the sale process on Nov. 3 after a series of false starts. The deal is crucial for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plans to raise billions of dollars to invest in non-oil industries, create employment and diversify the world’s top crude exporter away from oil.

So far, no major state company or fund has publicly said they will take part in the Aramco IPO.  ...

 

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Reuters seems to be trying to be even more obsequious in it's reporting of the event since you last posted the link above. We wouldn't want to rustle any Saudi feathers now, would we?:

https://wallmine.com/news/224ec6/aramco-ipo-it-s-a-thanks-but-no-thanks-from-malaysia-s-petronas

 

I mean whowouldathunkit? 1.5% isn't getting anyone excited, maybe it they'd gone for a 10% or 15% float of the company, make the float somewhat meaningful then it might have been worth a punt. Let's face it, oil majors and their national counterparts drop serious cash on new blocks and the numbers we hear for the purchase and development of these blocks is enormous, $50 billion in some instances isn't uncommon. So it makes you ask the question, just how bad is the Aramco float/reserves/deal if a major or a national player isn't going to drop a few lazy bill, even as a goodwill exercise? The deal must be atrocious if they cannot even muscle up and persuade their fellow religious travellers overseas.

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On 11/23/2019 at 2:00 AM, Martin said:

I mean whowouldathunkit? 1.5%

Last I saw, down to .5%. 

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On 11/23/2019 at 3:00 AM, Martin said:

Reuters seems to be trying to be even more obsequious in it's reporting of the event since you last posted the link above. We wouldn't want to rustle any Saudi feathers now, would we?:

https://wallmine.com/news/224ec6/aramco-ipo-it-s-a-thanks-but-no-thanks-from-malaysia-s-petronas

 

I mean whowouldathunkit? 1.5% isn't getting anyone excited, maybe it they'd gone for a 10% or 15% float of the company, make the float somewhat meaningful then it might have been worth a punt. Let's face it, oil majors and their national counterparts drop serious cash on new blocks and the numbers we hear for the purchase and development of these blocks is enormous, $50 billion in some instances isn't uncommon. So it makes you ask the question, just how bad is the Aramco float/reserves/deal if a major or a national player isn't going to drop a few lazy bill, even as a goodwill exercise? The deal must be atrocious if they cannot even muscle up and persuade their fellow religious travellers overseas.

 

29 minutes ago, John Foote said:

Last I saw, down to .5%. 

 

From the Reuters link above:

Expectations that Aramco customers and allies around the world would take significant stakes in the company have so far not materialized, with the listing looking like it will be reliant on local retail and institutional investors.

Aramco, which kicked off the share sale process on Nov. 3 after a series of false starts, declined to comment to Reuters on the lack of any named anchor investors in its listing so far.

Last week Russia’s second largest oil producer Lukoil (LKOH.MM) said it would not be investing in the initial public offering (IPO) which is likely to rank Aramco as the world’s most valuable company.

Aramco has a joint venture with Petronas in southern Malaysia that is set to start commercial operations this year and Petronas said it had been asked to invest in the IPO.

“Petronas would like to confirm that after due consideration, the company has decided not to participate in Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering exercise,” Petronas said in an emailed statement.  ...

 

===========================

So, an IPO in "the world's most valuable company" that nobody seems to want to invest in, despite some arm twisting by MBS.

This will not end well.  

Caveat emptor (let the buyer beware).

 

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You know who could buy Aramco, and it would make me laugh, Qatar. Maybe then the embargo would be lifted.

I suspect hosting the World Cup will cost Qatar a lot more than what MBS is going to net from the IPO. Both are vanity projects, although one claims to be good business.

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8 minutes ago, John Foote said:

You know who could buy Aramco, and it would make me laugh, Qatar. Maybe then the embargo would be lifted.

That ... would be very much amusing.

 

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The Saudi Aramco IPO mess just keeps getting messier.  Investor quicksand.

International and Western investors are staying far away from this Aramco IPO, presumably due to lack of even the most basic transparency norms from Saudi Aramco / Saudi Arabia.

This IPO slow motion train wreck is an amazingly surreal disaster, that continues to implode in unexpected ways.

 

Saudi Arabia Arrests At Least 9 'High-Profile' People Despite Jittery IPO Push

Apparently feeling emboldened by the fact that Saudi Arabia suffered zero repercussions over the Oct.3, 2018 state-ordered murder of Jamal Khashoggi, other than crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) briefly being shunned by international elites for a few months, it's business as usual again in the kingdom of horrors

In a new breaking report, The Wall Street Journal reveals that "Saudi authorities have arrested several high-profile people in recent days, extending an effort to sideline Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s perceived opponents, despite a push to repair the kingdom’s international image to attract investment."

The WSJ counts nine people total arrested in a span of a little more than the past week who are not particularly known for being dissidents or any level of explicitly anti-government activists. They include journalists, intellectuals and businessmen detained since Nov. 16.

What additionally makes these detentions particularly brazen on the part of Riyadh authorities is that it comes just in the final stages of the kingdom preparing for the launch of what most see as the biggest listing in history, Saudi Aramco IPO.

The damning WSJ report hit the same day that Aramco executives met with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) officials in the UAE to discuss investment options and possibilities in the oil giant's debut share sale, and at a moment the kingdom is desperate to attract a major anchor investor to ensure success.

It appears MbS  no doubt further emboldened by continued support from President Trump even after the Khashoggi affair  realizes a pesky little issue like human rights abuses, including torture of dissidents and continued record pace beheadings and crucifixions, can't stand in the way.  ...

 

... One official with Human Rights Watch (HRW) told the WSJ, “It’s all connected to the same campaign of trying to eliminate independent voices in Saudi society, of going after anyone who could be even mildly critical or independent.”

 

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Zero Hedge is wrong on one thing, about Arab Spring not effecting the House of Saud. It scared the bejeezus out of them. Setting them on the less than zero descent policy that MBS embraces. 

The deal between the House of Saud and the rest of the population was one of patronage and a pecking order thing that works well in the culture, probably couldn't in the West. The House of Saud provides, the subjects accept subjugation, in return for a better life, which by and large was provided. In 1980 Riyadh had roughly 800,000 people, and many had no electricity. Now Riyadh has roughly 8 million, and in many ways is a modern, congested city, but paying for the progress is pretty much only Aramco. With the population growth rate, and increased expectations, the model cannot sustain.

Vision 2030 has to work, and failing that, it will get ugly. And Vision 2030, as projected, doesn't have a change in Hades.

Iranians have been in an economic mess for a couple of decades, but the country can feed itself.  Saudi Arabia cannot sustain itself on pretty much any level. Until recently they even imported gasoline, what a hoot. The environment cannot sustain that population. The world's largest dairies shouldn't be in Saudi. With money, AC, imported alfafa, it works, I actually preferred Saudi dairy and chickens to typical US fair, but like so many things there, it's out of sorts. 

When this implodes, MBS, or whomever, will not slip silently into the night.

I am all for supporting human rights. But when we side with KSA, don't believe sanctioning Iran is about human rights. At least the Ayatollahs are genuine religious figures of a sort. The House of Saud, not so much. Both need to be held accountable. The how to do so is complicated, and as anyone who has spent time in the region will tell you, a lot of good people are there. And getting a straight honest answer, nope, not going to happen.

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