Yes, the time is now nearing. Bloomberg gives us (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-08-25/bankers-head-to-saudi-arabia-to-compete-for-world-s-biggest-ipo), and as it starts with “Global banks will this week start making their case on why they should be hired for what’s set to be the world’s biggest initial public offering“, we see an interesting shift. It is the initial public offering (IPO) towards Aramco and all the bankers are dressing up like they are the bitches on the Easter parade. The question is how will these American bankers be seen? Those who were eager to exploit their options; events emphasized via media friends these so called events of Jamal Khashoggi. Should they be allowed to make a bid? As Bloomberg informs us on “The oil producer was originally working with Evercore Inc. and Moelis, as well as HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley“.
Now let’s walk a little time line, Morgan Stanley chairman and chief executive James Gorman gave the people on January 24th 2019 (several sources) ““The murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul was utterly unacceptable,” Gorman said as he responded to questions on a panel“, yet actual and factual evidence was never presented, was it? Merely speculation on events and evidence that remains debatable. OK, I feel certain that Khashoggi is unlikely to be alive, but there is nothing pointing at ACTUAL evidence and the essay by Agnes Calamari never changed my position. Perhaps merely wrongly chosen words by James Gorman, which now implies he should not be part of this $100 billion+ windfall (I’ll take his place). Then we get to J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, he pulled out of the conference on October 2018, so he should be disregarded as well (I’ll fill in for him too). Now, HSBC Holdings Plc held their ground, in light of innuendo, the active use of implied events that remained unproved, HSBC Holdings Plc kept a straight wave; this was business, not emotion, so I say welcome HSBC (if I had a say in the matter).
And the story on Evercore Inc. and Moelis is simple, they blew their chanced way before July 2019, as such it seems that they are out of the picture too. I am of course willing (for a modest fee) to take any of those three seats, business is business. I have no idea what I would be doing, yet uniting with HSBC whilst we share 50% and I get a really nice retirement bonus to unload my part to them is not out of the question. This is a market worth well over 100 billion, I’ll be really willing to take a 7.5% part and hand the rest over to HSBC, I reckon that I am the first person in their history to hand them close to $40 billion for them being supportive to my needs, the average hooker gets $50 at best, so there! Oh, and I do realise that there are Chinese banks eager to take place, so it might end up being a three way split.
And a man like me has dreams, with that amount a nice house in belle air and a super yacht becomes an actual reality (yes, I am typing this whilst I am not awake at present). The stage for me is simple and clear.
For the other players the case is less nice. I believe that those being sanctimonious and hypocrite need to be held to account. There is a consequence to play certain games and resetting the ledger so that they can courtesan themselves into a market worth will over 100 billion is not that acceptable to me and it should not be acceptable to you either.
The entrepreneur gave us yesterday ‘Why Saudi Arabia Is Being Increasingly Seen As The Place To Be To Start A Business In The Middle East‘ (at https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/338516), they are right, but they need to see the thorns that the roses bring. the article starts so nice with: “Alper Celen’s decision to trade his cushy job at the prestigious global management consulting firm’s Scandinavian offices for a move to Saudi Arabia to grow a start-up there didn’t make much sense to his colleagues“, yet these players need to realise that this is an Islamic nation, under Islamic law and etiquette. It is a lot more rigid than France is and I have seen a 6 figure Euro deal fall away because the salesperson accidentally used ‘pour toi‘ (informal) instead of ‘pour vous‘ (formal), the buyer walked away and went straight to the competitor. When it’s merely €100K most ‘big players’ will shrug, yet now the game comes in suitcases set to the billion dollar plus that game becomes a whole new dimension. The problem is that those you talk to are indifferent to the billions, it is their bread and butter for you it optionally is not. Those players in dime sized poker games are all willing to bluff like the cardinal for the large games, but a bluff is still a bluff, when you are found out, or seen as unworthy, you will lose a lot, you will lose it all and you might not have the means to get back from where you came.
Yes, you can win big, but the whole game is larger and there is every indication that the Saudi families have kept score on those rallying behind a journalist no one cared about, with a larger lack of evidence of any kind. Soon we see their move and their idea of the Easter Parade flaunting their dresses on Takhassusi St hoping that they are still regarded to be in the game and perhaps they are. I merely wonder if they should be allowed to be in there (HSBC excluded from this consideration).
Now that Vision 2030 is off to the races they all want in (as would I), yet in all this, after all they did and all that they connected to, should they be allowed to? We have to pick certain fights and that is fine, we have certain values which make us jump in certain directions and that is fine too, but to make a 180 degree turn when it is about the money, should we accept such a party in that event when there are hundreds who want to take a slice of that cake? I do not think so.
The events regarding the Saudi conference were larger, there was a distinct impact and as such those play that game should not be allowed to play when the large trophies become available. I lost my option to an apartment in Rotterdam because I did not have the right ‘friends’, OK, fine, but you cannot rely on me giving you a pass when you come knocking. It is then a tits for dad situation at that point and now that there are really serious gains, those people should always be disregarded.
I suddenly remember a quote from Age of Ultron; there we hear: “Keep your friends rich, your enemies rich and wait to see which is which“, well Saudi Arabia found that out, after they discovered that, they have no real need to keep the charade up, so as I personally see it, goodbye Evercore Inc. and Moelis, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley, it was nice knowing you. The nice part is that when they are evicted from the offer, they will have to reconsider the game they played, the media they embraced and the values that they gave to fattening the cow whilst ownership remained in the air. I actually love it when people get to learn a lesson by losing billions, it feels like that for one moment, one tiny moment the playing field was level for all of us.
The Aramco train is now officially on the road and we will hear a lot more in the coming month, I for the most will be most interested to see how much the Chinese banks end up with. And yes, I have woken up and I know that any chance for any of those billions were delusional at this point. Yet there is always tomorrow.
In light of all this, Al Jazeera reported less than two hour ago ‘Houthis ‘fire 10 ballistic missiles’ at Saudi airport‘, at this moment, I see Arab News, Saudi Gazette and two more all having a version of that, yet nothing on the BBC, not the Guardian, not the Washington Post, not the LA Times and not Reuters. I got the news before all them and I have nowhere near their tools. So, are you still convinced that some people should be allowed at certain tables to fill their pockets whilst they shun the people whose money they want? And as we realise the quote “The rebels fired 10 Badr-1 ballistic missiles at Jizan airport, killing and wounding dozens, the group’s military spokesperson said in a statement on Sunday“, a quote made by Colonel Turki al-Malki, we need to see that US corporations are playing a convoluted game. Consider the impact that some have, do you think that when the newsgroups get wind that something really matters to the heads of these banks that they go to bed and sleep, not with 100 billion for grabs. The world media is all about fairness and then jinxes the game by taking balance away. From my point of view it is increasingly important that those players are denied a seat at the table (any table for that matter). Saudi Arabia needs to take a hard look at who they consider their friends. In light of all the unreported news of events by Houthi forces I feel more and more inclined to think that the US is turning into a player that no one should ever consider an ally, their only allegiance is to currency, I hope that the people who need actual allies realise that part before it is too late.