EXCLUSIVE: On Saudi Princes, Free Trade, The Corrupt American Media, And The 2016 Presidential Election

By Karen Colasinski for Media Mass Deception

There is hardly any “daylight” between the masses and politics, institutional power, corporate wealth, and big media these days. If we aren’t outright lied to, the truth is fed to us often in jagged pieces meant to manipulate. Those participating have created a corruption so toxic it has metastasized throughout our system. It’s important that we know who some of the major players are and how they are connected to who. That will help us recognize more quickly how to protect ourselves from dangerous people, entities and situations.

One name to know for several reasons is Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.

Born in 1955. Waleed is a nephew of the late Saudi King Abdullah, a grandson of Ibn Saud, the first Saudi king, and a grandson of Riad Al Solh, Lebanon’s first Prime Minister. His first wife, Princess Dalal bint Saud bin Abdul Aziz, from whom he is divorced, is his cousin. He had his two children, a son and daughter, with her.

On “Billionaire Bios” in 2008 (via ‘Rich Bastards’) it states that since 2006 the Prince had been married to his fourth wife, Princess Ameerah, who was born in Saudi Arabia and went to college at the University of New Haven in Connecticut.

But Richard Johnson of the “New York Post” in “Page Six” wrote in November of 2013 that the couple quietly divorced after two years of marriage. And the five years in between? Are there NO journalists we can trust fully these days? Five years of “blank space” is a long time in this age of lightning fast technology. Would it have hurt Mr. Johnson to make a couple calls to verify “yea” or “nay” regarding when and if the couple were married and divorced?

I thought writing whatever one feels like is called fiction and is not to be confused with hard news.

But Princess Ameerah is mentioned in more detail here for another reason – her very interesting connections. Mr. Johnson noted in his column: “Ameerah was in Manhattan a couple weeks ago having lunch with Jenna Bush, Gayle King [Oprah’s BFF], and Arianna Huffington.”*

Now isn’t that a curious lunch group? But back to the Prince…

He completed college in the USA – Menlo College (Bachelor of Arts / Science) and Syracuse University, (Master of Science). He is an entrepreneur and investor of world renown. Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), in which Al-Waleed holds a 94 percent stake, is the vehicle through which he purchased serious shares in Citigroup.

The royal came to Citigroup’s aid in 1991, when he invested $590 million in the bank (predecessor Citicorp) which needed cash as it struggled with Latin American loan losses and a collapse in U.S. real-estate prices. (You may want to take the time to listen closely to Donald Trump’s giving legislators his assessment and suggestions regarding that real estate collapse.**)

KHC’s stake in Citigroup, accounted for more than 40 percent of the total value of their assets when they began selling shares to the Saudi public listed on Tadawul (the Saudi Stock Exchange) in July, 2007. KHC owned 3.6 percent of the ailing U.S. bank at the time.

“The U.S. government has given great support [to Citigroup] and we hope these measures will soon stabilize the bank,” al-Hayat newspaper quoted the Prince as saying.

Five months later, Prince Al-Waleed said he was among investors, including the Kuwait Investment Authority that agreed to sink at least $5 billion into Citigroup as it scrambled for capital. By 2008 the Prince owned 5% of Citigroup.

The royal’s KHC’s investments include many banking and overseas interests but also many recognized international names, such as, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, George V Hotel in Paris, Fairmont Raffles International Inc., Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Songbird Estates (Canary Wharf), Apple Inc., Time Warner, News Corp., Walt Disney, Euro Disney, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Motorola, Hewlett Packard, and Eastman Kodak, among others.

In January 2010 it was announced that, “Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal al-Saud of Saudi Arabia the largest shareholder of News Corp outside the Murdoch family endorsed Rupert Murdoch’s son James to succeed the elder Murdoch when he retires.” (Note: Earlier this year, the Prince lowered his stake in News Corp to roughly 1% and now owns 5% of Twitter).

Pretend to hear the sound of squealing brakes here….

Huh?

A Saudi royal, until recently, was the largest shareholder outside the family founders of a media giant in the USA? The same Saudi royal who tried to give NYC a check for $10M that Mayor Rudy Giuliani refused after the attacks that toppled our Twin Towers and killed thousands of people on 9/11 2001?

(In brief, in case you’re not aware of why Giuliani wanted no part of the Saudi money: Osama Bin Laden was a Saudi. Fifteen of the 9-11 hijackers were Saudi. There was an obvious and clear financial trail showing Saudi support for al Qaeda.)

But are we referring also to the same Saudi Prince who, in December 2005, announced $20 million gifts to Harvard and Georgetown to expand their Islamic studies departments?

And is this the Saudi royal who was still the largest individual shareholder of Citigroup when the US Government took over a third of it in February 2009 by injecting $45 billion in TARP funds? The same Citigroup that posted a $7.6 billion quarterly loss for 2009?

Yes, it’s the same one.

And it’s also the same one who urged the US to start getting Citigroup’s payback moving to give the market “confidence”. So, the US struck a deal with Citigroup. Citigroup paid back $20B in January 2010 and in December 2010 the Treasury Department sold its remaining holdings in Citigroup common stock, about 2.4 billion shares.

With the proceeds of the sale, priced at $4.35 a share, the government realized $57 billion on its bailout package for Citigroup – an increase of $12B over investment. Not sure what they did with the money.

At the end of September 2015 Citigroup was trading for $49.00 a share according to Morning Star. I guess the Prince is likely pretty happy today compared to five years ago.

Or maybe not…

On September 9, 2015 from a Bloomberg column:

“Saudi Arabia has withdrawn as much as $70 billion from global asset managers as OPEC’s largest oil producer seeks to plug its budget deficit, according to financial services market intelligence company Insight Discovery.” …

“Saudi Arabia is seeking to halt the erosion of its finances after oil prices halved in the past year. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority’s reserves held in foreign securities have fallen about 10 percent from a peak of $737 billion in August 2014, to $661 billion in July, according to central bank data. The government is accelerating bond sales to help sustain spending.” …

With income from oil accounting for about 80 percent of revenue, Saudi Arabia’s budget deficit may widen to 20 percent of gross domestic product this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.” … ***

IMF? Hey! Doesn’t that have something to do with the Export-Import Bank? Yep.

You may recall I recently tied John Boehner’s resignation as U.S. Speaker of the House to his having been against the Export-Import Bank and that the timing of his departure in relation to the UN gathering for its 70th Anniversary and Rep. Jeb Hensarling’s saying he thought there would be overwhelming support in the House now for reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank (but Hensarling was against it before he was for it). Apparently, there’s a very good reason for these to be tied together. If you go to the last link following this text you’ll see a nice photo of the new Saudi King and Obama sharing a chuckle – the day before the published announcement about the Saudi’s withdrawing as much as $70B to help plug their budget deficit. But the main quote for my purposes:

“As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce put it: ‘For U.S. companies even to bid on many big foreign projects, Ex-Im support is required.’

“The Chamber, on its blog, used the example of Sadara energy project in Saudi Arabia, writing, ‘Why can’t financing for huge projects such as Sadara be left entirely to the private sector? As noted above, bids often require support from an export credit agency such as Ex-Im.’

“The foreign buyer in this case is a joint venture, between a state-owned oil company in Saudi Arabia and Dow Chemical, a U.S. company.”****

What a coincidence, huh? I guess timing IS everything. And it’s not always about WHAT you know, but WHO you know that matters, it would seem. So don’t believe everything you hear or read at face value. There are more ways to deceive the public than photo shop.

Saudi Arabia Withdrew Billions From Markets, Estimates Show http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-28/saudi-arabia-has-withdrawn-billions-from-markets-estimates-show

****Export-Import Bank Deal of the Day: Dow, King of Saudi Arabia, demand taxpayers finance their energy project http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/export-import-bank-deal-of-the-day-dow-king-of-saudi-arabia-demand-taxpayers-finance-their-energy-project/article/2566467

Billionaire Saudi prince unloads most of his stake in News Corp

http://money.cnn.com/2015/02/04/media/prince-alwaleed-news-corp/

Saudi prince’s investment firm increases Twitter stake
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