One day, the real-politic thing works. All money is green. A feudal monarchy makes a fine ally. The next it isn't, it doesn't. The next day, one little murder in the journalist persecution capital of the world threatens to blow up the entire alliance, military, political & economic.
Saudi Arabia's had an erm.. "eventful" power transition (MBS') but it isn't fundamentally different. It's a monarchy in the real, undiluted sense. Laws and courts are mostly religious. There are no rights, on paper or in practice. No freedom of speech, affiliation, religion or concious. No pretense of these either. Religion & Monarchy share power with eachother. Neither are bound by rule of law or by the people in any way.
Are these barriers to alliance, trade or investment? Whatever your answer, I don't see what Khashoggi's murder changes. Yet, this murder (or some other catalyst event, if this blows over) can change everything.
It really does seem like random chance.
So while they might make a show of being upset, after the way they snubbed Iran they have nowhere to go if they want to pivot from the Saudis to a different potential regional ally. Further, Trump is expressly in favor of violence against journalists  so he's not going to push for punishment for this.
The answer to that is Turkey; it's the last remaining regional power that has a chance of being seen as the de facto leader of the muslim middle east. For anyone who has been watching closely, the hidden story here is the way Erdogan has masterfully handled both the press in order to drive public opinion. A couple weeks ago every major Turkish and U.S. newspaper ran almost the exact same story (as far as the facts) and it was straight off of Erdogan's desk. Turkey has been very effective at driving the news cycle and painting the Kingdom of S.A. into a corner.
The Turks have also been trying very hard to create a close relationship with the Trump White House - the very first scandal of the administration was when it was revealed that Michael Flynn had taken >$500K from a Dutch company run by a prominent Turkish businessman with close ties to Erdogan.
This is not to say that Trump is unworthy of the criticism but I think many other leaders, including those who vocally champion human rights, are just as culpable when it comes to Saudi Arabia.
Just like selective law enforcement is a tool used to oppress and exert power so is selective outrage used to drive public opinion.
There is something odd about this case. It is a terrible crime of course and should be condemned. But it seems we went from the head of Interpol disappearing in China and everyone not caring much, to let's start a war with SA over a journalist most people haven't heard of before. Something is unusual and I feel there is more to the story and more to the motivation to push the story at this point in time.
The victim was a reporter for the Washington Post and so it doesn't surprise me that his peers in the press are driving the story more than other stories.
Not only do they have a personal connection to this individual but his death is a particular affront to their power and their role in the political process - and they have a weapon to wield in response.
And worse, they’re always buttering us up with claims of special friendships and promises of change.
It’s hoped that the Kashoggi Affair is something that will truly catalyze change in that regressive society.
And hey, if a Tunisian burning himself to the ground started the Arab Spring, maybe Kashoggi can catalyze a change in our US Foreign Policy.
How a story is told matters a lot to how people react to it.
A few years back there was a ton bit of scandal around executions of witches/sorcerers. Official, public executions... for magic.
MBS' first big notable act was a giant rounding up of Saudi businessmen and aristocrats, threatening them and confiscating their wealth/power.
SA-Russian relations have been strained by Syria, but they've actually improved substantially since mid/late 2016. MBS was in Moscow talking military issues in May 2016. And in September SA signed an agreement with Russia to limit oil production, widely seen as a major win for SA and OPEC more broadly. At the time, MBS explicitly told the Washington Post (of all papers) that he intended to coordinate with Russia to encourage them to move their regional focus from Tehran to Riyadh.
In 2017, they followed that up with a massive three-part contract selling Russian weapons to SA, committing Saudi money to energy investments in Russia, and bringing Russian petrochemical plants into SA. Later in 2017, the Saudis started pressuring the US to drop sanctions on Russia over Ukraine.
Saudi/Russian relations aren't perfect, but they've improved substantially. And more importantly, the improvement is heavily tied to MBS personally and his new direction for the country.
Meanwhile, Turkey is heavily pushing this story via the Istanbul consulate angle, in what's generally described as an attempt to destabilize a regional competitor and personally undermine MBS and his new direction. (Turkey likewise has strained-but-improving relations with Russia thanks to the work of its new strongman leader.) Depending on who you listen to, some of the extended Saud family is also advocating for this to become a crisis in order to oust MBS and return SA to its older positions.
So I can't really see what Russia gains from striking out at SA now, especially via a line that does less to weaken the country and more to weaken a specific leader who's been more friendly to Russia than his predecessors. This looks like a regional spat between two states Russia has been courting, plus an internal fight on which Russia sides heavily with MBS.
This outrageous case has also a big "the drop that filled the glass" component.
Honestly, this feels like an extremely optimistic take. Journalists are regularly killed around the world, yes. But how many people even heard about it when Daphne Galizia was murdered? It's hard for a string of atrocities to add up when most of them don't even register with people.
The nastier take here is that this is some combination of a regional spat (Turkey suddenly has a stick to hit Saudi Arabia with) and nationalistic/journalistic self interest (when Russian and Maltese journalists are killed, they're honored, but when journalists with US papers are killed, it's time to do something).
I'd really like to think this is the culmination of building outrage, but every time I see somebody post about the death of a journalist who was "a US resident working with a US newspaper!" I become a little more convinced that it's mostly a nationalistic sentiment that these things don't happen to us.
The saudi monarchy would have certainly not killed that one man, but instead made a smear campaign against him had they known of the blowback. The sad thing is I bet multiple people have been executed for failing to foresee this.
Point is: Shit is so damn random.
It's a definitive and publicized example of behavior that other people (eg Me) have been familiar with for decades. SA is a dangerous and chaotic absolute monarchy that is equatable to Saddam's Iraq. This changes people's minds about dealing with SA. This gives the western public an opportunity to do a casual review of current news and possibly dig into history, for further confirmation.
Let's say this truly was a one off and Saudi Arabia was a better place, I doubt we'd see the same response if this was a one off event.
You should also add Turkey's response to the list of randomness. Turkey didn't have to make a big deal about it, had they not done so we would likely know very little other than that someone went missing there.
This is the part that blows my mind, really. I didn't think there were any true Monarchies left, especially not in a country that wealthy and prominent in the world stage.
There's always a reason...
Imagine we do some silly things like 'print' (not how money is made, but that's another topic) countless billions to trillions of dollars to pay for things we can't afford, such as pointless wars (not really pointless - Iraq/Libya/Iran all moved to of settle their oil for currencies outside the dollar, as Syria and Venezuela have now also done) or to inflate the stock market by injecting money into it resulting in inflation and calling that 'growth'. Or imagine we grew so deeply in debt that our only ever chance of possibly paying off old debt was by taking on ever more new debt in a cycle that seems to have no possible happy ending. These things might normally have an effect on an economy or currency's value or stability. But with the petrodollar if the value of the dollar goes down, this incentivizes other nations to further increase their holdings of USD to ensure a stable access to a certain amount of oil. And, like magic, the massive quantities of money start being removed from the market and tucked under the national bed's of a variety of different governments. The petro dollar means we can basically do whatever we want economically, and the rest of the world has to take it, while smiling.
This is why Saudi Arabia is able to flaunt their position. Do you remember Majed Abdulaziz Al-Saud? Neighbors saw a bleeding crying woman fleeing his mansion in Beverley Hills. He'd engaged in rape, assault, various forms of drug use, and all other sorts of fun stuff. Our response? He was released on bail and then, lo and behold, simply flew back to Saudi Arabia, and then it just disappeared from the news. It's the same story here. This is really big news, and this is something that the media and politicians could completely cripple Trump with. Yet, for the first time in his two years in office, they're remaining relatively reserved. The reason is that we need to make a big deal of this, and ho and hum about what should be done. But in the end, I think the chances of us doing anything, beyond token gestures, are basically 0. If we became enemies with Saudi Arabia, it would be a a potentially fatal blow to our economy, as it would mean the immediate and utter end of the petro dollar. Granted that dollar is already dying, but it's dying a long, slow, and protracted death. This would be self decapitation by contrast.
Even the good old 'regime change' or 'bringing democracy' isn't the same with Saudi Arabia as with the rest of the world. From a PR perspective Saudi Arabia has Medina and Mecca. They would be able to successfully spin the invasion as an attack on Islam. And Saudi Arabia also has extensive military forces. In spite of being a relatively small nation they are the third largest spender in the world on their military, and spend some 10% of their GDP exclusively on military - we only spend about 3% by contrast. We can't invade them and we can't really turn against them. We're the most dominant nation in the world, but Saudi Arabia is our Achilles' heel, and they know it.
US total oil consumption: 19,690,000 barrels/month.
The US is now the world's largest oil producer. OPEC is scared. For the US, oil is a sideline. For Saudi Arabia, it's all they've got. The US is headed for energy independence, just because of market forces.
But to a degree this is also the same for the entire world. Global oil consumption is expected to peak in the late 2030s. As demand for oil declines prices will go up to try to sustain the standard of living that OPEC nations have grown accustomed to. But as this happens it will make non-oil alternatives even more economically justified leading to even less oil demand in the longrun which leads to higher prices which ... This is what I meant when I said that the petrodollar is dying, but it's still going to be a long slow death which gives us hope of finding ways to stabilize things before then.
You can even see direct analogs of this entire scenario with China. China seems to be investing based on the presumption of an electric/renewable heavy future and are working to corner some important resources there. Outside of simply becoming world leaders in the tech themselves, the world's cobalt supply, for instance, is now being heavily controlled by China. They aren't even operating through proxy, as we did with oil. What this will mean is that, if China's 'bet' turns out to be true, is that the get access to cobalt you'll need to play by China's terms which could, for instance, involve trades being settled only in yuan. And suddenly we have the 'cobalt dollar'. Everything from solar cells to lithium ion batteries are all dependent upon cobalt. It's quite a prescient move. The big difference is that oil was irreplaceable, cobalt is perhaps less so.
He wrote a few articles.
1)How much VC drives the US economy(October,2015):
2)Unicorns are overvalued(May,2017):
In class in 2016 Ilya Strebulaev(who has arguably the best VC dataset in the world) stated that 92% of VCs surveyed believed unicorns were overalued and a correction was likely.
He also told our class a very memorable and self effacing story of how he placed a bet with a colleague for a bottle of nice wine on the future date of bankruptcy of GM.
In order to win the bet, the GM bankruptcy had to occur prior to X date.
GM’s bankruptcy was date X+1, thus losing the bet.
A lesson on timing. Even when you’re “right”, you can be wrong.
Perhaps a Saudi assassination “string” pulled too hard for too long could see a cascading effect.
It’s inevitable we will see a correction in valuations.
But I also think it’s pointless to fear it.
That time is better spent building a sustainable business on a fair valuation with more challenging access to capital.
YC’s suggestion for YC Batch(as well as all other) startups to be careful with not accepting money and scaling a startup at excessive valuation sounds like a solid one in this climate and the likely future.
Anyone who has tried their luck at day-trading has learned their lesson, i.e. "The Market Can Remain Irrational Longer Than You Can Remain Solvent".
The problems change, but the solution remains fairly consistent!
So you mean just founded startups with no revenue won't be valued at millions of dollars out of thin air then?
In turn that drives up many costs like salaries and rent for the startup ecosystem. So, less money likely results in fewer but stronger startups.
The issue is the best returns are for more risky bets that may not be funded in such an environment.
First of all, it's Silicon Valley. Check your ethics at the door.
Secondly, it's not illegal if it's not against the laws of a country (and in this case, if the crown prince of a monarchy orders something, that's as close to legal as it gets). You could say that it's immoral, but that's a different statement, and you shouldn't conflate "illegal" with "immoral".
Flip or not, this is gross.
Calling a murder not a crime because a king decreed it is mind boggling. You shouldnt conflate "illegal" with "criminal".
Edit: if you disagree, please tell me why.
No thank you. Maybe you're OK with this worldview, but I am not.
Why would we do that?
Worst case is they replace MBS because he’s so tainted and draw a line under this incident.
They can go back to dropping American and European munitions on school kids in Yemen and the world will go back to turning a blind eye.
Perhaps now they don't need to be the West's principle ally in the region, or given a free pass on every human rights abuse.
The US has started multiple wars to prevent the oil price from being traded in another currency.
But the US is definitely not starting wars over it.
Oh please not this on HN.
One can argue that cheap and easy access to oil was a reason for wars, sure.
But the USD is the world’s reserve currency. There’s no need to start a war over any attempt to pay in another currency - the money all ends up converting to USD anyway. It’s just such a minor thing in the scheme of things that no one is going to war over it.
I mean, Trump pulling out of the Iran deal has done more to promote non USD settlement than anything else. But no one really cares about the settlement aspect there.
Gaddafi had plans to develop a gold backed African Union currency and he was assassinated.
I'm not one for conspiracy theories but I am suspicious of "coincidences" in geo-politics that always end up favouring the same actors (when there is accompanying proven motive to boot).
It is not a coincidence, but it is also not simply because of just one thing.
A similar situation applied to Gaddafi.
Some euros or RMB becoming dollars for 5 seconds before they become oil is just not that big of a deal.
It makes no sense in any geopolitical construct.
It's about on par with Obama being from Kenya.
Starting a war is a huge thing requiring a lot of political momentum, and almost nobody in the White House ever even knows what 'petrodollar' really is, they have no instinct for why it's important for America, and there are zero Treasury officials or folks from the Fed running around saying 'let's invade' over this or that.
The list of 'usual reasons' for invading Iraq and Libya are all in public domain by now - we know the things that Bush, Cheney, Obama etc. have talked about, we know their reasoning.
There is ZERO talk of petrodollar among them - ever - for any
reason, because it's irrelevant.
Military Generals sometimes fret about national security but there are ZERO instances wherein they'll talk about the petrodollar they have no idea even what it means.
The reason that most countries price in Oil is because it's very convenient to do so.
Do you think Saddam Hussein wants worthless Chinese RMB? What's he going to do with that currency? Send it to Germany to buy factory equipment? No. RMB is worthless outside of China. So what then? Pounds? Pesos? Aussie Dollars?
The only currency that could remotely be considered are Euros, but then, what's the point? Because USD are still superior and you're going to have to trade for them anyhow.
Yes, America gains somewhat from the petrodollar - and yes, they will lean on people and strong arm to keep people in check, but nobody has ever invaded anyone over currency pricing.
Edit, appears this isn’t as well known anymore. It was literally the taking point during 2002/03 but here’s a good starting point: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Clean_Break:_A_New_Strateg...
The good thing is that no one can argue this is a conspiracy: the neocons were very open about it and you can find their writing everywhere.
Historically there have been a number of attempt to develop markets for oil in non USD currencies. The USD remains the biggest because - basically - of network effects.
Ironically, the new US sanctions on Iran look set to break that pattern because China is very happy to have a yuan denominated soil market: https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-iran-nuclear-china-oil/ir...
Foreign government hold US debt because it's a safe store of value. America can access cheap debt because it has good credit. If oil was traded in another currency for some reason those countries would still buy US debt.
> This actually serves as a deflationary effect, as it makes consumer prices cheaper for Americans in the U.S.
Deflation isn't desirable firstly. Secondly, the federal reserve controls the money supply so more demand doesn't matter as the federal reserve will just decrease interest rates to maintain 2% inflation.
It's amazing how prevalent conspiracy theorists are among people on this website. Also fyi, the amount of demand the Saudis have for the USD is a small percent (maybe a fraction of a percent) of global demand for USD. So Saudi Arabia deciding to trade oil in a different currency would have 0 effect on the US.
US debt is a safe store of value, because cheap energy can only be obtained by paying in US dollars. If you remove that motivation, the USD is just another fiat currency.
haha ok, I don't even know how this statement makes sense in your head. It's like you believe the only reason the US economy is successful is because of oil being traded in USD. Ignore the mega corporations and the giant military.
We used to be angry at how OPEC kept prices high by limiting supply afaik just fifteen years ago...
With the recent news articles about the journalist being killed, all of the "modernization" thoughts people had are totally gone. There has been a lot of money thrown into architecting a modern image - all of which was completely undone in one single news cycle.
I am no expert on the region though, just fielding some thoughts.
Apparently there is a pessimism / old joke there paraphrased as grandfather rode a camel, they drove a jeep, their children drove ferraris and their grandchildren will ride camels.
I can't work out whether the recent fashion for misusing (or at least generalising) the term "nation state" is just people trying to sound clever (and failing badly), or whether there's something more sinister behind it, perhaps some kind of neo-racism, something along the lines of: if you're an X-ian then you are automatically responsible for anything that an X-ian government agency does, even if the X-ian parliament was never told about it, let alone the general population of X-ia. It's probably just people trying to sound clever but when terminology is changed I'm curious about the reasons.
Also, on reddit I was recently called an "anti-white racist." ok.
For the record ai agree with your civil libertarian principle of treating people as equals, and not as part of groups.
Also, real Nazis would definitely consider people as members of a group and not as individuals.
They’re the only ones I expressed an opinion on though. In the Arabian peninsula they’re a majority by population and in numbers. There are no non-Arab states on the peninsula at all. Which of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait and Oman do you see having a bright future?
A side-effect of ending our persecution of Iran, however, is that Putin would likely start a war. If Iran were allowed to dump their vast natural gas supplies on the open market, Russia's economy would starve.
(Edited for formatting / spelling / grammar).
No, he wouldn't. Russian establishment has no balls for that, Russian regime was already in survival mode by the end of Putin's first presidency. All they want now is to be left alone with their puny savings from days of abundance, and to die before their money run out.
Their expansionist ambitions? A bluff, a diversionary manoeuvre - plainly and simple.
Using money to make more advanced development possible, that's investments. The Norwegians got it right IMHO - they put all their oil money back in the economy, and they are punching now way above their weight! They have about 1% of the EU population, but own about 10% of EU Companies through their investments. Bar any major catastrophe, or very stupid decisions, they will have a good life for generations to come, regardless of their oil futures.
The average Türk, except for the very upper-class, would be very happy to end the influence of the Saudis in their country.
It's true that between its domestic production growth and Canada, the US could just about painlessly replace Saudi oil imports if it were necessary (1m barrels imported per day from Saudi in 2017). The US should add another million barrels per day in production over the coming year.
Saudi Arabia's production plunging (eg due to a revolution or embargo), would legitimately crash the global economy. China, India and Japan (three of the five largest economies) heavily depend on their supply.
Maybe in another ~25-30 years Saudi Arabia's oil won't be very necessary for the global economy, assuming electric vehicles make enough headway.
No, it wouldn't. Prices and taxation regime will simply adjust. Proof? Last decade prices were hitting $130+, yet nobody died. Price of air travel have plummeted last decade, and been going up since then, despite kero getting cheaper! And so did many other fuel cost sensitive industries.
What you said above is a popular culture myth.
There were a bunch of oil development projects that started up 10 years ago at $100+/barrel prices which were put on hold. IT is surprising how quickly they can be brought online.
Last time the oil price peaked we saw how effective technological change is at opening new fields and techniques.
There is also a whole bunch of Russian and deep offshore fields which become economical at high prices too.
The Saudis have a lot of issues, but MBS seems to have made a lot of things worse.
The Saudis could care less what goes on in Yemen and have shown through history they have zero imperial interest there.
But if there is instability there, causing violence to spill across the border - or worse - Iranian backed antagonists are actually attacking Saudi - then Saudi is forced to take action.
If there were no antagonist forces in Yemen threatening Saudi Arabia, then there would be zero Saudi Arabian military intervention.
Yemenis are not violent due to some arbitrary violence of Saudis, it's the other way around.
When the Saudi's tried to threaten Canada recently by pulling out investment and students you could see this was going to be a challenging year for them. Aside from open up space for other more deserving students in Canada the Saudis did little damage and changed the way the world started looking at them. We are seeing them fall further and further each month.
I say again: Saudi wants nothing to do with Yemen, and that they are personal and prickly with Qatar has nothing do do with anything.
When Yemen was peaceful, Saudi coexisted in peace with it.
As Iran tries to destabilize the region and antagonize Saudi Arabia by supplying weapons and support ... then it becomes a problem.
There are literally missiles flying over Riyadh, supplied by Iran.
Now who is trying to disrupt who?
"When the Saudi's tried to threaten Canada recently by pulling out investment and students you could see this was going to be a challenging year for them."
Again, it's stupid for Saudis - but this has nothing to do with anything.
Their childish relationship with Qatar and response to Canada means little.
Missiles over Riyadh supplied by Iran is essentially and act of war from Iran and they definitely should defend themselves.
Missiles didn't attack Riyadh until 2 years after the Saudi intervention, and after the cholera outbreak started and after the Saudi siege started killing civilians.
No huge argument with the intervention itself, but the indiscriminate harm to the civilian population is indefensible.
Nothing to do with anything.
For Silicon Valley, this is quite a major situation because entrepreneurs here effectively live or die based on if they can get funding. Even if the idea is amazing and has potential, the founder will just abandon the idea if investment doesn't materialize. SA is a godsend to any entrepreneur who has an idea that is viewed as high risk based on traditional VC investors. If SA pulls out of being so proactive with their investments then it will be a huge wake up call to many early stage startups for sure.
This implies that "traditional" VC couldn't get high risk stuff funded, but SA can. That has no basis in history or reality.
There doesn't have to be a coup against the entire family to change the line of succession.
Still, it's very possible (especially with Trump & Kushner running the show) that this will just be a speedbump in business-as-usual for Saudi Arabia and their American business partners. We'll see -- in your worst case I don't think it will necessarily be a smooth process for MBS to be replaced.
Same pagebook as Putin with the high profile killings in UK.
I think it would be neat to have a list and map of for example the top 50 SV startups and where their money is coming from.
* just plain jerks
* serial harassers, misogynists and the like
* supporters of various evil/hateful politics
* white-collar criminal/fraudster types
* straight-up mob, american, russian, or other
* nation-state actors with very dirty hands like KSA
Making ethical decisions about who you are willing to work for is a routine part of working in startup world... and you're never done, because surprise! You may have an even harder decision to make after that Series B closes with new investors!
Also, they practically took him into their embassy, killed him and then lied about it in the most haphazard way.
That represents a massive break from international status quo. Unfortunately getting involved in third-world civil wars and financing terrorist attacks is quite within the status quo.
But ... a friend raised an interesting point -- part of the stink around the Russian assassinations in the UK was that they were done on UK territory, and endangered uninvolved UK citizens. The Saudi embassy is Saudi territory. Seems like splitting hairs, but maybe this factored into their decision to do Kashoggi in the embassy.
EDIT> It's just so weird. If you're going to murder someone, you don't invite them over for dinner and do it in your living room, or am I stupid?
This is not a massive break from the international status quo by a any means. The USA and all other nations have operated in a similar manner for a long time with equally gruesome outcomes.
If I recall the head of Interpol “disappeared” not long ago, and that little kerfuffle died away right quick.
Perhaps the reasons are more mundane.
1. The Saudis got caught out by the Turks with the evidence. Which has been used effectively. The Turks have a lot to gain by seeing the alliance between SA and the US weakened.
2. The senior leadership of SA can be more directly tied to this incident, as opposed to more common case where plausible deniability exists. Rookie mistake.
3. There exists internal opposition to the leadership in the US and SA that find it convenient to escalate the profile of this issue for their own purposes.
This will blow over and business as usual will resume shortly.
Murdering someone in your embassy (although technically your own sovereign territory) is a new low.
Plus there is the "cruel and unusual" aspect. Although the phrase was meant for capricious abuses of power it highlights how evil out of the norm is reacted to more harshly. People are used to shitty things done by militaries and funding violent groups - the definition of a terrorist group had to be very carefully defined to avoid the US being guilty of it themselves under their own laws for instance. Even government assassins don't murder people in their own embassy usually much less so brutally and openly.
This was always evident from how badly unicorns have fared in the open market post IPO - but this is a direct admission of price gouging
I don't read many "More money needed to fund startups in Silicon Valley" headlines recently...
There was also a planned $200 billion solar project that has also been scrapped.
Playing what up? The fact that Silicon Valley and their new "hey, just stay private!" mentality was heavily funded by blood/oil money?
Is this actually news to people that Saudi Arabia has done terrible things? Or does it only matter now that there's been a scandal?
Well, thank God for the scandal, then.
By the way, once we're all here: China is an authoritarian country with no respect to human right as well, keep that in mind next time you read (or God forbid write) another fascinated article about Greater Bay etc.
China is not a democracy but they don't kidnap and murder people in foreign soil, and they don't bomb other countries. They don't also fund and promote extreme religion exportation, like Saudi Arabia does. Saudi is a net exporter of terrorism. If China really did all this, you would hear about thousands of Falun Gong followers kidnapped or murdered in USA or Canada. Or you would already have Taiwan and other countries like Vietnam invaded. Taiwan is a bigger pain point to China than Yemen is to Saudi Arabia.
They do kidnap people. They've kidnapped people from Hong Kong, Vietnam, Myanmar, Australia and Canada. Some of these people confess to a series of crimes and in exchange pay fines or are sentenced to long prison sentences, or they are simply never heard from again.
They kidnapped a Swedish citizen from Thailand for having the audacity to publish a book critical of Xi Jinping.
Source - https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/03/29/the-disappeared-china-r...
Where's the push-back against Chinese funding? That money is sloshing all over the valley right now, nobody cares in the least. There are no protests, no outrage, no fake performances by politicians and business persons. They've routinely disappeared journalists, human rights workers, etc. over the last decade.
Most of the world is absolutely terrified to push back against China on anything at any time. There isn't a single major player in Silicon Valley with the nerve to stand up to China these days.
Saudi Arabia is a convenient target (and not in any manner undeserving of the negative response they're getting), that's all that is going on. The aggressively selective outrage, magically showing up now, is how you know it's shooting at something larger.
One question: Why are you quoting the estimed oil reserve in USD? Wouldn't that number fluctuate a lot due to changes in oil price during the years of extraction? Wouldn't it make more sense to quote it in barrels?
While the US has meddled from time to time in private business, the rights of citizens to avoid such action are pretty well laid out. Can you imagine a Chinese company taking their government to court to refuse revealing customer data to the government like apple and other us companies have?
So I think you can easily ignore the actions of the US government while taking investor money. But taking Chinese money is essentially like taking money directly from the Chinese government.
SA generally refers to South Africa. It's either KSA, or Saudi Arabia.
My mistake. I leave it there, thoguh, to not break the flow.
i am really not sure why anyone would consider the interests of their company's fundraising strategy to be less important than that a certain investor has a large LP that is a country that had someone killed.
this will blow over.
But with the Silicon Valley crowd - well now I know the true definition of scha·den·freu·de!
Yep, the SV crowd thinks they're the enlightened ones, saving the planet. Between billion dollar valuations based on blood-money, the massive financial inequality and the state surveillance apparatus they built to put us in, I doubt the proletariat think too fondly of the place.
Oh, it's grand to read these sorts of comments from one of the most righteous communities now that the scandal is in their backyard.
Yeah, who cares if the guy signing your paycheck is hiring death squads to murder journalists! My photo app deserves to sell for millions!
The world isn't inherently just - we need to build our own systems to change or mitigate them if we want it.
We've all had a BIG wakeup call about these tech gigs, and we're slowly building the conscience to match. Slowly.