Saudis warn of economic fallout if Congress passes 9/11 bill

shinji

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 18, 2007
1,306
1,497
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/16/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-warns-ofeconomic-fallout-if-congress-passes-9-11-bill.html?ref=politics

WASHINGTON — Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill’s passage, according to administration officials and congressional aides from both parties, and the Saudi threats have been the subject of intense discussions in recent weeks between lawmakers and officials from the State Department and the Pentagon. The officials have warned senators of diplomatic and economic fallout from the legislation.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jess13 and Meister

vrDrew

macrumors 65816
Jan 31, 2010
1,317
11,838
Midlife, Midwest
What are those American assets?
The Saudi government holds roughly $750 billion worth of US Treasury bills and bonds. That $20 trillion worth of Government debt people keep whinging about? Roughly 5% of it is held by Saudis.

If it believed those assets might be frozen as a result of a legal case brought in the United States over the 9/11 attacks; it would - frankly - be a prudent move to sell them in exchange for other assets that would be immune to such judicial overreach.

From a practical, financial, standpoint it would be difficult to pull off. The Saudis would lose tens of billions of dollars doing so, and would probably cause any number of other unintended financial and economic consequences.

On a longer time frame: the Saudis are probably going to be net sellers of US Government securities over the next several years regardless. The crash in oil prices has put the Saudis (along with the Russians, Venezuelans, etc.) into a situation where their domestic budget deficits have to be covered by cashing in their sovereign wealth funds.

The good news? Its unlikely that these sales will put any significant downward pressure on US treasury securities, or cause any significant spike in US interest rates. In a world where Swiss banks are charging Chinese billionaires a percent or so per year to hold onto their cash, getting a point and a half from Uncle Sam seems like a no-brainer.
 

A.Goldberg

macrumors 68020
Jan 31, 2015
2,326
7,652
Boston
Included in the same article...
Several outside economists are skeptical that the Saudis will follow through, saying that such a sell-off would be difficult to execute and would end up crippling the kingdom’s economy. But the threat is another sign of the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States.
I read a similar article the a couple days also doubting that a sell off would happen due to the economic impact on Saudi Arabia. I doubt it will happen. I'm sure the US would retaliate with their own methods of economic games.

If Saudi Arabia is threatening to withhold assets, it sounds borderline like admission of guilt on some level. In 2003 SA wanted this info released. At the same time, it seems like everyone pretends to already know what the 28 pages say. I grew up in Connecticut outside of NYC, I know many people affected by 9/11 directly. My father was in NYC on 9/11 and worked 10-15 minutes away (walking). I have some trouble understanding why "victim's families" care so much about this report to be honest, especially a decade and a half later (actually I don't know any demanding the release).

As a result of 9/11 we've already started wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as other military operations- and lets face it the Middle East is a mess because of it than thousands upon thousands more have died. Given the current state of the Middle East is now a good time to play politics with releasing this information? I'm have no idea. The only apparent benefit to releasing the information everyone seems to already know is victims might be able to sue Saudi Arabia/involved foreign governments for damages. But good luck with that.
 

Jess13

Suspended
Nov 3, 2013
464
2,402
Why is Obama protecting the Saudi crime family?
Treason Against the United States.

What are those American assets?
According to LaRouchePAC piece from a few hours ago, that, like 28 pages, is secret:


I'm a little curious as to how The Donald would negotiate in this situation.
Declassify the 28 Pages

 
  • Like
Reactions: Billphillips

obeygiant

macrumors 601
Jan 14, 2002
4,003
3,776
totally cool
Is the bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible for 9/11 a different issue than declassifying the 28 pages? Because if the world knew the truth that would be a refreshing change.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jkcerda

thewap

macrumors 6502a
Jun 19, 2012
558
1,346
Without the USA The Saudis would cease to exist...or we could always not provide parts and maintenance to the fighter jets we provide them.

Boy who cried wolf.
 

Renzatic

Suspended
we are the "good guys", how DARE anyone retaliate?
Who would've thought that buying a rabid doberman as a guard dog would've had consequences?
[doublepost=1460998288][/doublepost]
Without the USA The Saudis would cease to exist...or we could always not provide parts and maintenance to the fighter jets we provide them.

Boy who cried wolf.
We have the greater advantage, sure, but they have enough of our short and curlies in hand that it'd sting pretty badly if they decided to yank back one day.

...man, gotta love those graphic analogies.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jkcerda

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
682
39,011
Criminal Mexi Midget
Without the USA The Saudis would cease to exist...or we could always not provide parts and maintenance to the fighter jets we provide them.

Boy who cried wolf.
Killad Kadaffy duck over the petro dollar, we are looking to kill/remove Assad over the same thing, plenty of brown people dead just to keep up the petrodollar going, if the Saudis go so do we economically.
 

aaronvan

Suspended
Dec 21, 2011
1,349
9,287
República Cascadia
Obama is traveling to Saudi Arabia this week to pay fealty to the Saudi king (how low will he bow?), apologize for the 9/11 controversy, and assure the Saudi crime family that the American people will never see the unreacted 9/11 report.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jess13 and jkcerda

thewap

macrumors 6502a
Jun 19, 2012
558
1,346
Killad Kadaffy duck over the petro dollar, we are looking to kill/remove Assad over the same thing, plenty of brown people dead just to keep up the petrodollar going, if the Saudis go so do we economically.
I don't think the US is that dependent on saudi oil anymore -