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Protests Spread To Saudi Arabia

Tyler Durden's picture


While the biggest threat to the Middle East region is the possibility that the population of Saudi Arabia may try to imitate what has been happening in the area, thereby bringing total chaos to the established regional geopolitical and more importantly, energy, structure, the first protests in the Saudi Arabia city of Jeddah are already in the books. The clip below shows the peaceful demonstrations that have taken place recently, which as Fedupmontrealer explains are "taking place in front of the Municipality in protest of the severe lack
of infrastructure, and corruption, that led the city to be inundated this week causing billions of dollars of damages for the second time in two years." That this is even occurring in a state where the average wealth is orders of magnitude greater than in Egypt is remarkable. On the other hand, we expect more news such as those from yeserday that Kuwait is paying its citizens $3,500 plus free food for a year to keep calm. Oddly, visions of money dropping helicopters, infinitely extendable unemployment insurance and tax breaks keep dancing in our head. Those who wish to follows the latest developments out of Jedda which appears could be the lightning rod for Saudi riots can do so by tracking #JeddahProtests on Twitter.

h/t escaholic


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Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:22 | 916298 Salinger
Salinger's picture

did someone say free food?

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:23 | 916300 sushi
sushi's picture

And $10 gas?

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:28 | 916313 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

gas, at the pump... in the Kingdom, is $0.25 per gallon? or liter? I think its gallon. so no, it is not gas prices.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:40 | 916338 Malcolm Tucker
Malcolm Tucker's picture

Glad to have blogged about this earlier. 

Now the whopper...Saudi King Abdullah publicly endorses Mubarak!!!


Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:44 | 916352 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

The King is here in New York... since last month and is not going home (or isnt due too) any time soon. Blog that.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:15 | 916421 66Sexy
66Sexy's picture

apples and oranges here. these are a bunch of saudi fat cats, takin' a break from counting their money...


egyptians are the real deal; this i suspect is staged.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:02 | 916539 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

-- Ben Ali takes 1.5 tonnes with him on his way out of Tunisia.

-- DOZENS dead in Egypt.

-- Now Saudi Arabia.

Ruh roh.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:06 | 916404 Aristarchan
Aristarchan's picture

This is a typical lint-headed attempt by the Saudi Royals to discredit any move toward democratization or regime change in the region. If he supports the popular movement in Egypt, then he would have to support one in Saudi Arabia - at least in the eyes of the Saudi people.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:03 | 916544 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Senility is NOT just a western disease!  Sounds like the good OLD boys club only supports their own!

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 18:45 | 916845 Sokhmate
Sokhmate's picture

per liter

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:24 | 916301 nope-1004
nope-1004's picture

It's insane to think you can calm the masses by giving them dollars.  Diluted printed paper promisary dollars, at that.

Gov'ts are so out of touch, it's incredible.  Hyperinflation is upon us.  Plan accordingly.


Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:42 | 916343 Blano
Blano's picture

Seems to work pretty good here in the US.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:15 | 916423 Eternal Student
Eternal Student's picture

Dollars, perhaps. But giving the masses bread has been very effective at quelling the masses. Western Rome used it two thousand years ago; Eastern Rome followed the example about 500 years later. Both only did so to keep the populace quiet, and to prevent future riots.

One can view it as a tax upon the rich, to keep the poor in line. As I said it was effective.

What we have in the Middle East is being sparked by the food being taken away, via higher prices. People will put up with the Status Quo if they have food. But remove that, and they have nothing left to lose.

You can thank the Fed and the Wall Street gamblers (err, Bankers)  for this one.


Sat, 01/29/2011 - 19:14 | 916887 CynicLaureate
CynicLaureate's picture

We're giving free food to 43 million people here in this country... that's more than the population of Kuwait, Jordan and Saudi Arabia combined.

Seems to be working so far.


Sun, 01/30/2011 - 07:30 | 917590 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Nobel thought CLaureate. Very interesting to see the food stamp program in that light.

Puts the Kuwaiti offer in a whole new light.

Very strange to see the dynamic in the oil-rich ME nations. For the longest time, they had enough and more to keep their people healthy, wealthy and free to creat for th enext 10 generations. 

Yet they burnt it on extravagant life-styles, impossible projects and back to the banks of the masters, for laundering, cleaning and screwing the world. Makes me wish I'd save all my reading. I'd read an awesome article that dealt with the numbers since the 1970's especially. Mind-boggling. It's the slosh and th epower in the TPTB hands, recycled petro-dollars.


Sun, 01/30/2011 - 15:04 | 918156 Aerows
Aerows's picture

Hungry people are a lot less angry than full people.


Civilization and anarchy are seven meals apart.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:16 | 916567 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

"Kuwait is paying its citizens $3,500 plus free food for a year to keep calm."

Well, that's one way to look at it.  The other way to see it is that the citizens of Kuwait, unlike most Americans, actually get to share the proceeds from their country's natural resources.  Not unlike Alaska, where state citizens get a share of oil revenue annually.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:24 | 916303 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

is that really a protest or just can't find the wedding??

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:30 | 916317 DonnieD
DonnieD's picture

I think they're looking for the stoning.

Sat, 02/12/2011 - 22:14 | 956822 hamstercheese
hamstercheese's picture

ha....hilarious, thanks for the laugh.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:24 | 916305 b_thunder
b_thunder's picture

Freedom?  Democracy?  Bill of rights? 

No, the greatest gift of the United States to the World is no one else but Ben Shalom Bernanke, plus the Fed's rate setting and money printing committee!


Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:25 | 916307 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

Thank you KGB!

Thank you BP!!

Thank you FED!

Thank you Bankers!

insert Hillary and Ben joke here about checking the oil...

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:43 | 916348 redarrow
redarrow's picture

If the Al Saud house falls, the world will have to thank the Fed.

Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:48 | 916371 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

why? the FED needs oil, just like me and you...

KGB... do you know what that means? nooooo?

BP... do you know what that means? nooo?

if you add them together, with an OPEC who has been playing hard ball... it equals...


Putin offers tax breaks for BP deal - Telegraph

Jan 16, 2011 ... Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Putin offers tax breaks for BP deal. Image 1 of 2 . Oil exploration in the US part of the arctic region - BP ... - Add to iGoogle

  • US left wounded as Putin seals BP deal - Telegraph

    Jan 15, 2011 ... Putin offers tax breaks for BP deal. 16 Jan 2011 ... .html

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:55 | 916381 redarrow
    redarrow's picture

    Got it, my post was more related to the fact that people living in other parts of the world spend a large percentage of their income for food and with the diarrhea from Ben's butt they find themselves unable to buy food. That is why events are happening in Tunisia, Egypt. IMHO the Fed by controlling the reserve currency made everything expensive and they are to blame.

    Of course, no one is denying that actors on your list.

    Sun, 01/30/2011 - 15:06 | 918161 Aerows
    Aerows's picture

    Exactly - rising food prices are contributing factors.  When people are starving, they aren't as willing to accept the status quo.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 22:11 | 917201 max2205
    max2205's picture

    Barry really Fucked up not crippling BP and seizing it's assets and reserves for trashing our Gulf. Now the fucking Russians will own the prize

    Thanks Barry

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:25 | 916588 Lord Koos
    Lord Koos's picture

    Blaming Bernanke for the revolt against authoritarian governments in the middle east is absurd.  It was an unsustainable situation in most of these countries anyway, inflation was just the last straw.  This is just the chickens coming home to roost after decades of bogus foreign policy by both Britain and the US.  It all may end up for the best.  People are talking about their rights, not about jihad.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:46 | 916617 Bananamerican
    Bananamerican's picture

    Lord, you & a few others miss the point...

    Don't you ask yourself "Why NOW"?

    No one's saying it's BB in a vacuum but people can put up with totalitarianism for decades as long as they can EAT....Let's face it, Bernanke is a shitty SimCity player.

    I'm personally thrilled to see the wheels coming off the camel.....people power & "consent of the governed" and all that. I'd just wish the dumfuks in O's admin. would get on the People's side asap (yes, even if those people are Muslims). It's the blindingly obvious thing to do...AND, as usual, it's the Right thing to do.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:11 | 916676 SteveNYC
    SteveNYC's picture

    Ben's ignorance is most certainly a condition that is affecting the current actions and outcomes, that can not be disputed. Is it all Ben's fault? Of course not.

    But the Princeton-ite is just following script per his thesis: bail out the banks at ANY cost. When he had his head buried in his school books and his myopic thesis, he was not counting on the unintended consequences of his actions.

    Sun, 01/30/2011 - 14:07 | 918003 Kobe Beef
    Kobe Beef's picture

    These cascading protests throughout the Middle East remind me of the cascading protests throughout Eastern Europe as a different empire lost control of its outlying puppet states.

    Good Riddance, Empire. Good Luck, Egypt. I hope you get something better than another satrapy.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:36 | 916463 TruthInSunshine
    TruthInSunshine's picture


    If there is a major 'structural disruption' in Saudi Arabia, we'll be in an economic depression faster than The Bernank can say "I'm 100% confident I have the tools to effectively combat this," with a cracking voice projected through quivering lips and  nervous, flinching facial twitches.

    This is NOT circa-1979 America, which still had a meaty and vibrant manufacturing base, relatively low debt levels, and far fewer stuctural issues of today (thanks, in part, to people like Greenspan and Bernanke).

    And beside, what will he do? Lower the overnight Fed Funds Rate?? Buy more treasuries from the Squid and other PDs? Buy more MBS?

    He's on warp drive already.

    Way to leave yourself some tools (not), Ben Bernankicide!

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:18 | 916574 A Man without Q...
    A Man without Qualities's picture

    These two books are written about 20 years apart, but I think they are the best works to allow Westerners understand the origin and the current state of Saudi Arabia.  One of the key points to remember is that the wealth of the country is concentrated in a very limited number of hands.  The majority are excluded, unemployment is a serious issue and most that have jobs are stuck in pointless state jobs.  The other thing it shares with Egypt, is while the leadership frets over Iran (Sunni leaders see a joint mission to stamp out the Shia herecy), the common man has an obsessive hatred of Israel and the Western nations that support it.  



    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:47 | 916632 Founders Keeper
    Founders Keeper's picture

    [This is NOT circa-1979 America, which still had a meaty and vibrant manufacturing base, relatively low debt levels, and far fewer stuctural issues of today...]---TruthInSunshine

    I agree. If anyone tries telling you that today's problems are comparable to those in the 1970's, run as fast as you can from them. They have no idea what's going on. And, they cannot be convinced otherwise.

    Oh, and your first paragraph was priceless! Love a good tie-in. Thanks, Sunshine.


    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 19:13 | 916885 Dapper Dan
    Dapper Dan's picture

    Bens problem is a similar to mine in most of his tools are made in China and are not worth the price of shipping.


    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:28 | 916312 bunkermeatheadp...
    bunkermeatheadprogeny's picture

    "Kuwait is paying its citizens $3,500 plus free food for a year to keep calm"

    U.S. version is food stamps and "earned income" credit

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:55 | 916379 JW n FL
    JW n FL's picture

    the quality of life in the Mid East... has fallen, faster than the median quality of life here.. since the 1950's 60's...




    The average (I dont know where the source is, or I would have posted it) of the 1970's was $30k per head... down to $17k per head (ruffly), sprinkle some inflation on top and they are a poor people.


    If you think Saudi will not burn? or that this was not cooked up a while ago.. you are wrong.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:42 | 916478 Arch Duke Ferdinand
    Arch Duke Ferdinand's picture

    "The Quality of Life in the Middle East has fallin"

    ...Which makes Canada's Four Western Provinces, led by Vancouver BC as the safest Haven in the World...hands down..a plethora of natural resources, w/ only 12.5 million citizens!...

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:00 | 916656 attst487
    attst487's picture

    I would have to point you in the direction of Argentina. :-)

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:30 | 916318 hugovanderbubble
    hugovanderbubble's picture

    Oil looking for 200$, in a super spike

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:55 | 916380 JW n FL
    JW n FL's picture


    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:10 | 916414 Black Forest
    Black Forest's picture

    Not spike but plateaux.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:32 | 916320 gorillaonyourback
    gorillaonyourback's picture

    helicopter been is flyin over kuwait and givin them money and food?  what the fuck why cant he fly over my house

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:34 | 916323 wcvarones
    wcvarones's picture

    Zimbabwe Ben meets the Kingston Trio: They're rioting in Africa.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:34 | 916324 Mr Poopra
    Mr Poopra's picture

    Godspeed to all our brothers and sisters yearning to be free.  


    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:38 | 916466 UninterestedObserver
    UninterestedObserver's picture

    You are referring to your fellow Americans correct?

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:36 | 916329 EscapeKey
    EscapeKey's picture

    Living standards are declining in Saudi Arabia, and the wealth is seriously polarized. The population is restive and largely uneducated, the monarchy is extremely unpopular, and 48% of the 20-24 year olds is unemployed, and 31% of the 25-29 year olds. Furthermore, riots are outright illegal, and are usually clamped down hard upon.

    If it kicks off here, oil will fucking spike.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:10 | 916556 DoChenRollingBearing
    DoChenRollingBearing's picture

    That is my understanding as well.

    The (large) Saudi royal family has all they want.  But, there are LOTS of unemployed (& unemployable) young men who have jack squat.  I guess majoring in Islamic Studies there in Riyadh (etc.) was not such a great decision, eh Mohammad?

    Oh, and Shi'ites in eastern S.A., right where the oilfields are.

    Saudi Arabia has been a bomb waiting to off for years.  Maybe this year?

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:29 | 916598 Lord Koos
    Lord Koos's picture

    Except for the monarchy bit, much of this could/will apply to America.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:36 | 916330 gorillaonyourback
    gorillaonyourback's picture

    does anybody feel that twitter is just a cia propaganda machine?

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:45 | 916354 Tric
    Tric's picture

    I do not care for Twitter getting so much attention the way it is. 

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:47 | 916366 DonnieD
    DonnieD's picture

    They give too much credit to Twitter and not enough to Bernanke

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:16 | 916424 Salinger
    Salinger's picture

    don't know about twit but Goog


    The Google-NSA Alliance: Questions and Answers


    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:37 | 916332 LostWages
    LostWages's picture

    Shitstorm turning into a blizzard.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:54 | 916378 SilverIsKing
    SilverIsKing's picture

    That's what I call a "Shizzard"

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:42 | 916342 YHC-FTSE
    YHC-FTSE's picture

    That's amazing. I would never have believed it a month ago, but there are at least half a dozen articles on ZH which predicted the fall of governments, food riots, and dramatic change to the political landscape as a consequence of inflation caused by the dollar dysentery cascading out of Bernanke's arse. 

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:45 | 916353 redarrow
    redarrow's picture

    No doubt about it. Another round of diarrhea from Bens ass and it will be goodbye dollar. If the world has to choose between eating and the dollar, they will choose to eat.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:11 | 916559 ColonelCooper
    ColonelCooper's picture

    Yes, but we are all just Doomers sitting on canned hams and dry goods; too stupid to buy more AAPL.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:43 | 916349 Tric
    Tric's picture

    I think I might buy some USO on Monday

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:43 | 916350 Suisse
    Suisse's picture

    I hope I will have gas for my car next month.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:46 | 916360 johngaltfla
    johngaltfla's picture

    This protest is primarily related to the horrid government response to the massive flooding in Jeddah. You can read about that here:

    Dozens detained in Saudi Arabia over flood protests


    What is rare is for any dissent of any kind to occur inside the Kingdom. If this spreads to other cities, it will become a major event and marker for problems that this administration and the prior one never could have dreamed of. If the Wahhabbi sect obtains any foothold and spreads the protests turning them into an Islamic Democracy movement in the Kingdom, all bets are off. The United States would lose the primary ally in the region and all hell will break loose in world markets.

    The Saudi Market was down 6.429% this morning so that should give you some clue that the investors in despotism are getting nervous. You can see that here:

    What A Despot Stock Market Crash Looks Like (Saudi Arabia)

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:48 | 916368 flaunt
    flaunt's picture

    Pretty tame looking compared to the Egypt protests.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:22 | 916438 EscapeKey
    EscapeKey's picture

    I believe Egyptian protests started off peaceful, too.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:31 | 916453 flaunt
    flaunt's picture

    Well, based on what I've been reading, it's extremely rare for a street protest to take place in Saudi Arabia, so perhaps even a small peaceful one is a major event.  Apparently street protests are completely outlawed in SA.

    Someone posted this link in another thread which I found interesting.  SA's king is supporting Mubarak publically which this blogger contends is sure to piss off everyone in SA:


    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:52 | 916375 alien-IQ
    alien-IQ's picture

    enter the Black Swan event?

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:01 | 916385 99er
    99er's picture

    Is America Behind All This?

    The American government secretly backed leading figures behind the Egyptian uprising who have been planning “regime change” for the past three years, The Daily Telegraph has learned.



    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:43 | 916732 GDE
    GDE's picture

    Same thing in Tunisia.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:02 | 916386 Caviar Emptor
    Caviar Emptor's picture

    Yes, Tyler, the Gulf Kingdoms' PTB will try US-style solutions such as plying the masses with "infinite" soporific monetary cushions from abject poverty, helicoptered in via shiny US military choppers. But here's the thing: they must be in some frigging panic to be doing this at all. Keep in mind that these are divine Monarchys we're talking. They already have absolute power over each individual in their nation and don't usually need to worry about popularity like a US politician. They know how far things have come along in the minds of their subjects. Once upon a time (that is up to yesterday), they counted on opium and hashish to keep the natives quiet. But the world has gotten smaller and borders more permeable. 

    The fate of the ancient kingdoms is one question. Inextricably linked is the question of pro-US relations. Since the 1920s and the end British colonialism the kings and aristocrats have been in the pay of the oil importers. Those relations were reinforced during world war 2 and the end of colonialism. However what replaced the old system was in fact neo-colonialism: geopolitical allegiances favoring the US and West without actual occupation, but through proxy (puppet) autocratic regimes and the implied threat of occupation. The first crack came when the Shah of Iran was deposed. This was both a wake up call to the Islamic world as well as to the US and Western nations that neo-colonialism could fail. The stakes have been raised steadily and non-stop since 1979, culminating in actual occupation in Iraq in 2003. And it now appears that we are entering the next phase now. Whereas you'll hear the MSM spinning the revolutions as democratic evolution in the image of and favorable to the US and West, what is really going on is a revolt by those economically deprived by neo-colonialism. 

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:46 | 916490 snowball777
    snowball777's picture


    Spot on analysis.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:14 | 916564 DoChenRollingBearing
    DoChenRollingBearing's picture

    I agree 100%, snowball.  Well done Caviar Emptor!

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:07 | 916661 Founders Keeper
    Founders Keeper's picture

    [Whereas you'll hear the MSM spinning the revolutions as democratic evolution in the image of and favorable to the US and West, what is really going on is a revolt by those economically deprived by neo-colonialism.]---Caviar Emptor

    Agreed. And well done, Caviar.

    (As an aside, IMHO, our foreign policy does not reflect the intentions of our Founders.)


    Sun, 01/30/2011 - 01:24 | 917440 Beatscape
    Beatscape's picture


    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:08 | 916393 CrashisOptimistic
    CrashisOptimistic's picture

    A few tidbits:

    1) "Energy".  Stop talking about "Energy".  There is no energy problem.  There is an oil problem and it can't be solved with any other kind of energy.  KSA has no coal, damn little in natgas production and 8.5 mbpd of OIL.  OIL.  OIL.  Not energy.

    2) Egypt's oil production was about 703K bpd in 2009, that's down from 710K bpd in 2008 and down from 900+K bpd in 1980.  They are way past peak.  Domestic consumption of oil has grown each year and exceeded the domestic production curve in early 2008.

    3) They have a huge population and every one of them eat.

    4) They cook mostly on propane stoves.  The propane is a BIG part of the oil consumption numbers.

    5) Subtle and hugely important item.  They have 975K bpd of refinery capacity to make gasoline.  They export a chunk of this.  This is one of the largest refinery capabilities on the African continent.  If it shut down, it would be felt immediately.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:42 | 916477 Mr Lennon Hendrix
    Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture


    It is all about the oil....and the gold.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:03 | 916399 Sudden Debt
    Sudden Debt's picture

    Saudi Arabia doesn't need to fear it's own citizens.

    It's the expats they need to worry about of which there are 5 times more then natives.

    And they don't get shit and most have been unemployed for almost 2 years now with no means of going back to their home country.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:20 | 916433 EscapeKey
    EscapeKey's picture

    I think you're thinking of Qatar.

    The population of Saudi Arabia stands at 27.1m, of which nearly a third are expats, prelimimary results of a countrywide census have revealed.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:05 | 916402 Jason T
    Jason T's picture

    this is bad taste..but I can't help but think of the movie Jewel of the nile and this song:

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:06 | 916406 Soar07
    Soar07's picture

    This evolving scenario is a black swan that will completely undermine our concepts of reality. Read Karl Denninger's posts on the matter. Our endless spinning of illusions is about to fall apart, IMHO.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:09 | 916410 Weimar Ben Bernanke
    Weimar Ben Bernanke's picture

    I believe Yemen will first fall then it will spread to Saudi Arabia. The royal family is ahted over there. The princes use their oil wealth to live playboy lives while the people live in poverty,and unemployed. This is spreading and if the House of Saud is overthrowned and replaced by an islamist zealous movement then the dollar-petrol system is done for. However it is too early what these saudi arabia protest will lead to. Also Saudi Arabia has laxed gunlaws. In other words there will be gunfights if there a revolution to get rid of the royal family.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:24 | 916442 Aristarchan
    Aristarchan's picture

    It is likely that the US and other govs with military forces inside Saudi and in the region would actively support the Royal Family. They would be fighting "terrorists" to preserve an important friend in the region, and of course, to protect a globally important oil source from "Al Queda".

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:39 | 916471 LehmanRefugee
    LehmanRefugee's picture

    This instability spreading to KSA is just a bridge too far for me. I might need to eat humble pie but the model right now seems to be countries:

    1) Long standing authoritarian regimes that have repressed political opposition

    2) Net Importers of Commodities

    3) Lower tier of middle income / higher tier of low income


    KSA, Kuwait, Bahrain etc don't fit the model because they are too rich and too insulated from the bernanke printing press due to their export earnings. Other countries that might fit this model of the top of my head include: MENA (Algeria, Yemen, Morocco, Jordan, Syrai) E. Europe (Albania, Moldova) and Central Asia (Tajikistan..others??). 

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:52 | 916509 Aristarchan
    Aristarchan's picture

    Yours is the logical assumption to make at this point in time. However, I worked in Saudi for some time, and have many Saudi friends, and there is a great deal of hatred for the Royal Family, and the uneven distribution of wealth. Also, there are many fundamental Muslims who hate the regimes close ties to the West. Now, could all these forces knit together and provide an active threat? maybe...This kind of instability is a wild card for the region, so future events may not comply with White Swan assumptions. One major difference is the amount of support the Royal family would receive from oil consuming countries.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:17 | 916573 DosZap
    DosZap's picture

    One major difference is the amount of support the Royal family would receive from oil consuming countries.


    Answer: All the hell they need

    NO WAY US allows House of Saud to be taken,no way.

    Sun, 01/30/2011 - 00:46 | 917385 FeralSerf
    FeralSerf's picture

    The oil infrastructure is fragile when the IEDs and RPGs start going off.

    Sun, 01/30/2011 - 02:11 | 917472 Hephasteus
    Hephasteus's picture

    I'm sure the us military has 2 or 3 more good wars in them. Fire 'em up. Ben can print them some gas money.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:29 | 916581 Things that go bump
    Things that go bump's picture

    It is only a matter of time.  While the US might be able to keep the lid on for a short while by force, the steam will keep building up and then it all blows.  While our fearless leaders are occupied with trying to repress the irrepressible, other strategic interests will be clamoring for attention, Pakistan and its loose nuclear weapons, comes to mind.  They are going to be playing whack-a-mole.  Meanwhile, back at the ranch.... isn't this the chance we have waited for all our lives?  Once they are distracted and spread too thin perhaps we can shake off our own shackles.  



    'Rise like Lions after slumber

    In unvanquishable number,

    Shake your chains to earth like dew

    Which in sleep had fallen on you -

    Ye are many - they are few.


    'What is Freedom? - ye can tell

    That which slavery is, too well -

    For its very name has grown

    To an echo of your own.


    'Tis to work and have such pay

    As just keeps life from day to day

    In your limbs, as in a cell

    For the tyrants' use to dwell,


    'So that ye for them are made

    Loom, and plough, and sword, and spade,

    With or without your own will bent

    To their defence and nourishment.


    'Tis to let the Ghost of Gold

    Take from Toil a thousandfold

    More that e'er its substance could

    In the tyrannies of old.


    'Paper coin - that forgery

    Of the title-deeds, which ye

    Hold to something of the worth

    Of the inheritance of Earth.


    'And these words shall then become

    Like Oppression's thundered doom

    Ringing through each heart and brain,

    Heard again - again - again -


    'Rise like Lions after slumber

    In unvanquishable number -

    Shake your chains to earth like dew

    Which in sleep had fallen on you -

    Ye are many - they are few.'


    Excerpt from "The Mask of Anarchy" by Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1819.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:07 | 916636 Bananamerican
    Bananamerican's picture

    love me some Percy Bysshe....

    "Even from our childhood have we learned to steep

    The bread of slavery in the tears of woe,

    And never dreamed of hope or refuge until now."


    "'Like clouds inwoven in the silent sky,

    By winds from distant regions meeting there,

    In the high name of truth and liberty,
    Around the City millions gathered were,
    By hopes which sprang from many a hidden lair,...

    'The Tyrant knew his power was gone, but Fear,
    The nurse of Vengeance, bade him wait the event--
    That perfidy and custom, gold and prayer,
    And whatsoe'er, when force is impotent,
    To fraud the sceptre of the world has lent,

    might, as he judged, confirm his failing sway.


    .-The Revolt Of Islam

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 19:23 | 916902 Dapper Dan
    Dapper Dan's picture

    Do you think that if the crisis spreads to Saudi Arabia our news outlets will call the protesters Anti-government or will they call them Anti-monarchy?

    Does the word anarchy come from the latter?

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 19:44 | 916938 Bananamerican
    Bananamerican's picture

    "terrorists™" will suffice.....

    Sun, 01/30/2011 - 10:59 | 917698 snowball777
    snowball777's picture

    Freedom Fighters (tm)

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:19 | 916428 CrashisOptimistic
    CrashisOptimistic's picture

    Nonsense.  This is not about freedom or democracy.

    It is about food, as a derivative of oil.  If KSA citizens eat and are comfortable, they are not going to riot.  The non native workforce won't be "rising up" either because they have no money for guns.

    Don't sign onto the MSM spin.  This is about food, derived from oil.  Food is being priced out of people's mouths.  Places where people eat fine, no revolution.

    Sun, 01/30/2011 - 01:02 | 917407 FeralSerf
    FeralSerf's picture

    How much American corn is being made into ethanol fuel now?  About 40%?

    What is it -- 1 tankful of ethanol in an SUV is the equivalent corn to feed a

    family for a year?  And this is good policy?   Corn has gone up in price how

    much in the last year or so?  When someone spends 80% of their income on

    food and food doubles, something's got to give.


    It almost sounds like the policymakers are working overtime to see what

    they can do start revolutions or mass die offs.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:19 | 916431 colddirt
    colddirt's picture

    I don't know about you people, but if I was to take over the kingdom the LAST thing I would trade my oil for would be FRNs.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 19:21 | 916899 buzzsaw99
    buzzsaw99's picture

    that is just one of the reasons why you are not king

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:25 | 916445 Dr. Porkchop
    Dr. Porkchop's picture

    Shit, should I go fill up a gas jug?

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:29 | 916449 Mr Lennon Hendrix
    Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

    Lose no purchasing power with silver.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:46 | 916487 flaunt
    flaunt's picture

    More like get a bicycle.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:54 | 916517 Dr. Porkchop
    Dr. Porkchop's picture

    I'm covered there!

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:47 | 916633 born2bmild
    born2bmild's picture

    Bike - check. So stoked my van runs on natural gas (CNG baby).

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:27 | 916446 Mr Lennon Hendrix
    Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

    [V]isions of money dropping helicopters....keep dancing in our head.

    Bernanke, from Helipad, "Clear for takeoff Dr. Bernanke."

    This is Bernanke's moment.  Time to save the world Dr. Bernanke.  Let it rain money like 'Lil Wayne at a strip club!

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:29 | 916448 99er
    99er's picture

    (Reuters) - Jordanian activists rallied outside government offices Saturday as they tried to step up their campaign to force Prime Minister Samir Rifai to step down.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:31 | 916455 americanspirit
    americanspirit's picture

    If people can't afford sugar then they can't drink tea. If they can't drink tea then they have no catalyst for getting together with friends at the cafes to talk things over. If you can't offer tea to everyone who walks into your home or shop then you are not a good host, If you can't be a good host you feel shame and are dishonored.

    Revolutions are about the little things that pass well under the radar.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:45 | 916631 born2bmild
    born2bmild's picture

    You bake bread w/ sugar.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 18:59 | 916864 Green Leader
    Green Leader's picture

    Coffee, sugar & tobbaco!

    Sun, 01/30/2011 - 00:37 | 916989 GreenSideUp
    GreenSideUp's picture

    Well said.  It's often a matter of simple human dignity.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:32 | 916456 It is a bargin ...
    It is a bargin my friend's picture

    No fecking way would Saudi fall..none at all..non starter..forget it

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:39 | 916469 Mr Lennon Hendrix
    Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

    You are implying they could raise the price of their oil to add revenue to pay their people to shut up and sit down, right?  And what would the impact on oil prices be?

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:43 | 916476 LehmanRefugee
    LehmanRefugee's picture

    see my comment above but I agree that the protests spreading to KSA would be hard. Even though we like to stereotype all the Middle Eastern regimes the same the conditions on the ground are very different. The House of Saud has more legitimacy in the eyes of it's population due to sociological and religious reasons than any of the North African dictators.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:55 | 916520 It is a bargin ...
    It is a bargin my friend's picture

    Thats about it, plus the fact that in the eyes of the west , and the world, unseating a "Royal" family is a totally different kettle of fish to removing a western imposed despot.That line would not be crossed.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:43 | 916482 UninterestedObserver
    UninterestedObserver's picture

    LOL sure it won't - maybe we can send our army to every country that is collapsing. Military intervention in Saudi Arabia would send oil to $150 in a heartbeat and our phantom recovery would go down the tubes and blow up a few more TBTF banks along with it

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 18:19 | 916792 Bananamerican
    Bananamerican's picture

    "No fecking way would Saudi fall..none at all..non starter..forget it"

    He who does not see the hand of allah in this is as blind as a headless camel sahib...

    remember, millions of muslims are waiting for the "return/end of days" over there as well...

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:43 | 916475 DosZap
    DosZap's picture

    Kuwait got its shite to getha, free food for a year, and a 3500.00 bribe not to take away the multiple billions in gold they have stashed.

    Smart insurance.

    Sound like a plan for here?.

    We want, no demand at least 10% of the Bankers bonus cash of Wall Street, or we riot, and take out 33?.

    Nah, here they just would shoot our ases dead.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:03 | 916542 CustomersMan
    CustomersMan's picture

    No, they get to keep 10% and pay taxes on the total 100%.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:49 | 916499 AAPL_Short
    AAPL_Short's picture

    Well, yes the Saudi royal family will go down. And it will end the petrodollar regime. The Emperor has no clothes. Massive massive crash and reset for the US economy. And, yes, the Chinamen take over instead. Bitchez !!!

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:00 | 916534 EscapeKey
    EscapeKey's picture

    The Chinaman is not the issue here.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:25 | 916587 DosZap
    DosZap's picture

    Ah So!, You watch KSA go down,and the Chinaman will be there before the end of the violence.

    Guaranteed,all these empty US houses?, soon to be occupied by Chinese Nationals.


    A Bit OT here, but is it just me, or are any of you sickened at the thought of carrying YUAN, with a photo of a murdering bstd on it?

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:35 | 916721 snowball777
    snowball777's picture

    That rug really tied the room together.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 21:08 | 917076 CynicLaureate
    CynicLaureate's picture


    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:50 | 916506 Dr. Porkchop
    Dr. Porkchop's picture

    If things go south in Saudi Arabia, I shudder to think what will happnen. I think the US will go full retard. Secure the oil at all costs.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:56 | 916522 CustomersMan
    CustomersMan's picture

       Its funny how we keep hearing, "protests will solve nothing, remain peaceful and your grievences will be addressed".


       Then its proven again and again, the most effective action. There is a special chemistry that takes place in large gatherings, that empowers the participants. Its almost like watching a flock of birds moving in unison or a school of fish. They can turn on a dime, and all at once, without seeing the mystery behind the unified action.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:57 | 916524 Monkey Craig
    Monkey Craig's picture

    Please note all the women dressed in all black. That is not freedom.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:47 | 916739 snowball777
    snowball777's picture

    It is if they do it in France.

    Sun, 01/30/2011 - 10:09 | 917665 dark pools of soros
    dark pools of soros's picture

    + $1,095 Donna Karan

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 15:57 | 916527 AAPL_Short
    AAPL_Short's picture

    Yes, we will try to move in. And will fail. Game over US.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:29 | 916596 DosZap
    DosZap's picture

    Think not.

    We have basically alll the troops back CONUS from IRAQ, ans their is a thing called Selective Service.

    There are only 2 places on the planet where we could not do this, and one is China,and Russia.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:46 | 916735 11b40
    11b40's picture

    Good luck with that Selective Service thing.  I don't know any Congressman who would vote for that.

    Worst thing we ever did was to eliminate the draft.  We would never have invaded Iraq with all that fake WMD bullshit if we had depended on draftees, and we would have taken care of Bin Laden & the Taliban in Afghanistan in 90 days and come home - like we should have.

    Now, we have this mercernary 'volunter' military causing mischef anywhere the multi-national corps tell Congress to send them.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 18:20 | 916798 Bananamerican
    Bananamerican's picture


    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 18:50 | 916850 Suisse
    Suisse's picture

    If the government can force you to join the military then you are nothing more than a slave to them.

    Sun, 02/13/2011 - 16:57 | 958098 11b40
    11b40's picture

    If not a slave to government now, please explain what you are.  Govt. can, and will do what ever they want to you.  They will tax your ass right out of house and home and put it in jail if you don't pay up.  They will debase your money (their money) to the point of worthlessness.  We are all slaves.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 19:52 | 916953 Dr. Sandi
    Dr. Sandi's picture

    The bastards in charge figured it out years ago. A draft doesn't make money for those who need it. Set up your wars with as many unemployed 18-25 year olds as you can indenture, then spend the real money on mercenaries. I Xe a pattern here.

    Draft ain't gonna happen when there's gigabux of government funding in soldiers of fortune.

    People seem to have fortgotten the real reason for wars through history...PROFIT!

    Send in the draftees and you send in the undertrained and unwilling druggies. Send in the mercs and you send in the motivated and well-paid professional killers.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 22:03 | 917187 Weimar Ben Bernanke
    Weimar Ben Bernanke's picture

    Yeah have US troops occupying land near Mecca and Medina. That will stir up the hornets nest and lead to worldwide jihad like we never seen before. The entire middle east would turn against us. Plus Iraq is still unstable.if we leave Iraq dissolves into civil war and we would fight a never ending war in Saudi Arabia.America is about to have a Saigon moment in the mideast very soon.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 23:09 | 917270 Founders Keeper
    Founders Keeper's picture

    [Plus Iraq is still unstable.if we leave Iraq dissolves into civil war and we would fight a never ending war in Saudi Arabia.America is about to have a Saigon moment in the mideast very soon.]---Weimar Ben Bernanke

    Good post, thank you.

    That being of course, modern US foreign policy is an omnipresent web of complicity, duplicity, over-reach, cover-up, arrogance, and immoral unprincipled leadership in which we now find ourselves entangled.

    America is the mightiest tree in the forest, but the parasites of socialism have been gnawing at the roots of our greatness for nearly a century. 


    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:00 | 916533 Twindrives
    Twindrives's picture

    Love it.  Let's watch the Narcissist-in-Chief try to talk this one down.   Looks like a busy weekend for the CIA and their stooges in the Middle East. 

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:16 | 916568 Common_Cents22
    Common_Cents22's picture

    the house of saud is backed by the full faith and credit of the US military.

    nuff said.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 20:23 | 917008 snowball777
    snowball777's picture

    You know that the carriers run on nukes, but not the tanks and planes, right?

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:34 | 916608 walcott
    walcott's picture

    What happens if Bin Laden shows up in Saudi Arabia?

    The chess board is set?

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 19:20 | 916895 samsara
    samsara's picture

    He'd be better than Harry Houdini   if he did.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 16:52 | 916641 grunk
    grunk's picture

    It's just a matter of time before the elites pit the underclasses against one another. Egypt blames Europe , Europe blames the U.S., the U.S. blames the Chinese. The poor fight each other to the death while the wealthy watch.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:05 | 916666 buzzsaw99
    buzzsaw99's picture

    We support democracy bitchez. Not!

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 17:40 | 916727 johnnymustardseed
    johnnymustardseed's picture

    The Saudi's hold our future. Any change could lead to loss of reserve status of our worthless paper money. The OPEC countries will have to decide very soon if they will continue to let us starve their people.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 18:24 | 916804 mt paul
    mt paul's picture

    one barrel of oil 

    one oz of gold ...

    Sun, 01/30/2011 - 02:11 | 917470 topcallingtroll
    topcallingtroll's picture

    nice arbitrage opportunity if eventually true.

    Sun, 01/30/2011 - 11:08 | 917706 snowball777
    snowball777's picture

    Both at $500?

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 18:26 | 916809 silver_serf
    silver_serf's picture

    Maybe the U.S. wants massive unrest so the military has  good cover to go occupy every country with resources...much more grassroots than the whole 9/11 thing

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 18:41 | 916838 Ace
    Ace's picture

    "That this is even occurring in a state where the average wealth is orders of magnitude greater than in Egypt is remarkable."

    Why do you say that? The protests have nothing to do with average wealth -- in addition, nearly all of the wealth in Saudi is concentrated at the top, so "averages" have little meaning.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 18:42 | 916840 Freddie Krugerrand
    Freddie Krugerrand's picture

    You know, if these Muslim guys would get laid more often the Mideast would be a whole lot calmer.

    Sun, 01/30/2011 - 00:57 | 917399 topcallingtroll
    topcallingtroll's picture

    that is the god's honest truth

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 18:44 | 916843 Sokhmate
    Sokhmate's picture

    Per liter

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 19:09 | 916877 Spectre
    Spectre's picture

    I'd sure like to see some YouTube Vid's of some of the rich guys running around in those cool white robes with the poor protesters lobbing sticks and stones.

    Sat, 01/29/2011 - 19:12 | 916882 Selah
    Selah's picture

    Thousands marching in the streets,
    Inciting revolutions based on tweets.

    And dictators that they feared, will be gone...


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