We have been following the little—noted collapse of stock prices on several markets in the Arab world. The New York Sun picks up on an article in the U.K. Telegraph:
It is known for Porsche—driving princes and the lavish lifestyles of the oil—wealthy, but this week Saudi Arabia's rich kids have been selling their cars and even rushing to the doctor after a whirlwind stock market crash saw huge profits perish.
Heart—attacks, stress, hospitalization, and panic selling are all reported results of the Saudi collapse, which has seen tens of billions of dollars in losses in a fortnight.
This week alone the Saudi market fell by 20%, with only the promise from a prince to invest $2.6 billion temporarily stemming the financial bleeding.
The losses have been particularly hard felt in the share—mad kingdom, where more than a third of the 17 million population dabble in the stock market. With years of soaring profits fuelled by ever—higher oil prices, small investors have rushed to get in on the action. Now panic and despair have hit the almost 60% of Saudi investors who are small dealers speculating with family savings.
"Many individuals have pulled their savings out of banks and put it into local stocks, with many even borrowing to the limit to do so," a vice—president at Riyad Bank in the Saudi capital, Khan H. Zahid, said.
We indulge in no schadenfreude over the losses of the petro—sheikhs. The poeple we really worry about have no use for stockmarkets or much else that was invented after the eighth century or so.