Game of Thrones in Saudi Arabia

The so-called corruption crackdown in Saudi Arabia over the weekend may be the beginning of a bigger power struggle by the heir apparent to the throne which destabilizes the region for a time and keeps oil prices elevated.

“Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s (MBS’) Saturday night purge represents a stunning political development in Saudi Arabia and a shot across the bow at the old establishment,” wrote Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy for RBC Capital Markets in a Sunday note to clients. “The key question now is whether MBS has launched or preempted a new destabilizing ‘Game of Thrones’ by arresting his relatives in such dramatic fashion.”

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In the short term, analysts are focusing on the detention of Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, the head of the Saudi Arabian National Guard, as a sign the struggle is much bigger and will be more tumultuous than it currently looks. The National Guard is in charge of keeping the population in line.

History shows, that when there is turmoil within Saudi Arabia, oil prices head higher. If the young prince is ultimately trying to fight extremism, there could be protests led by clerics among the population.

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Source Credit: CNBC
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