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Last week, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (“MBS”), son of the current King of Saudi Arabia, rounded up some of the most prominent businessmen, politicians, and Saudi royal family members and had them placed in confinement in the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Riyadh. The stated rationale: various charges including money laundering and corruption. Behind the scenes there was talk that MBS was moving quickly to gather and consolidate his own power in the Kingdom. Among those retained was Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a billionaire Saudi investor who holds significant stakes in such American companies as Apple, Citibank, Twitter, and 21st Century Fox. Not only a superb investor, bin Talal is a world class philanthropist, who has reportedly given over $3.5 billion to charity. One of Bloomberg’s writers, Erik Schatzker, had an interview with the Prince just days before he was arrested. Here’s his report. For additional background we direct you to this in-depth piece from VOX that provides an excellent overview of the dynamics and political situation currently extant in the Kingdom. This is a particularly dangerous time in the long-simmering powder keg that is the Middle East. How it all plays out could have huge world wide
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