Liquidating business assets
Until the surprise arrests of dozens of people last weekend, Saudi Arabia’s elite was the darling of Deutsche Bank, UBS, Credit Suisse and other global banks seeking to manage their wealth.If I weren’t so lazy I could dig up numbers to at least approximate the values of some of the question marks in the table.Farms own land and tractors, banks own buildings and ATM machines, governments own all sorts of crap including nearly a billion acres of land and all those cars you see on the highway that don’t have to buy license plates like you and me. For today’s purposes all we have to know is that these things would add up to a very big number. It is to show you that the balance sheets are so big that almost any analysis of the economy that focuses on spending or saving or budget deficits alone, to the exclusion of the balance sheet, is almost certain to be wrong because balance sheet changes are so big.Some Saudi billionaires and millionaires are selling investments in neighbouring Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and turning them into cash or liquid holdings overseas, the people said.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
“There is a growing perception that governance is becoming increasingly arbitrary or at least less rule-based.” The central bank asked lenders in the kingdom to freeze the accounts of dozens of individuals who aren’t under arrest, as well as the assets of those being detained, people familiar with the matter said.
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