Saturday, January 12, 2008
The Wall Street bank Citigroup is desperately looking for about eight to ten billion in foreign investment to try to stay afloat. News today is one of the people they're looking to is Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who's talking in the neighborhood of two billion, although the deal is reportedly far from done. The prince already owns four percent of Citi, and this is the same bank that got 7.5 billion late last year from investors in Abu Dhabi, who now own 4.9 percent of the bank.
Citi is also seeking a cash infusion from Chinese government sources.
See the AP's recap of the Wall Street Journal story.
Naturally the prospect of Saudi Arabian interests and other Persian Gulf states acquiring huge portions of American financial institutions raises a lot of very interesting questions about our Middle East policy and the Global War on Terror and 9/11 and so forth, but let's not go there for the moment.
It takes a genius with a comprehensive memory like the blogger Atrios to tie that story to this one: flashback to October 12, 2001.
Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Thursday the city would not accept a $10 million donation for disaster relief from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal after the prince suggested U.S. policies in the Middle East contributed to the September 11 attacks.
"I entirely reject that statement," Giuliani said. "There is no moral equivalent for this [terrorist] act. There is no justification for it. The people who did it lost any right to ask for justification for it when they slaughtered 4,000 or 5,000 innocent people."
Prince Alwaleed gave the mayor a check after a Thursday morning memorial service at Ground Zero, the site of the World Trade Center towers destroyed in the attacks.
The prince offered his condolences to the people of New York, but after the ceremony he released a statement suggesting the United States "must address some of the issues that led to such a criminal attack."
See also Eschaton.
It's not terrorist bombs and Islamofascism we need to fear, it seems to me, but our own ineptitude and inability to face facts.
Once the Arabs and the Chinese own all our banks, what do you think they'll do with 'em?