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Wednesday, August 21, 2002
 
Saudi threat to withdraw billions in US investments

I wonder, did anyone think this kind of thing might happen before all the anti-Saudi rhetoric started flying all over the place?

Actually, this is probably a mostly empty threat. There really isn't anyplace else for the money to go, especially given that the world has been thoroughly (if temporarily) disabused of the notion that asset-price bubbles are a good thing. Most likely, the money would be shifted into Europe, but that amount of money going into European assets would inflate prices, with the Saudis taking a major hit just buying them, especially if the money moves en masse. Putting it all into cash, especially Euros, could have a devastating effect on the dollar in the short term, but they'd still be faced with the loss of its returning to a stable exchange rate after they finish buying. Unless they're willing to lose a large chunk of their $750 billion, the majority of Saudi US investments will probably stay put.

Still, it's going to be fun to watch all the (Republican-friendly) American financial institutions running in circles and screaming bloody murder for the Bush Administration to do something about this. It'll be even more fun to watch the latter capitulate.

via Buzzflash