The Global View From Saudi

Published on
September 1st, 2017
35 minutes

The Global View From Saudi

The Interview ·
Featuring Omar Bassal

Published on: September 1st, 2017 • Duration: 35 minutes

Omar Bassal heads asset management for family office turned global investor, Mohammed Alsubeaei & Sons Investment Company and he speaks with Jawad Mian about the long term themes on his horizon, as well as the economic and political factors surrounding a possible Saudi devaluation. Filmed on August 14, 2017, in Saudi Arabia.


  • GR
    Guido R.
    21 September 2017 @ 13:18
    Regarding oil, SA no longer commands the position it did till 20 years ago. SA no longer produces Light Sweet Crude (LSC). They can only produce Heavy Sour Crude (HSC). Globally, we have astronomical reserves of HSC. From Brazil and Venezuela, to Canada and Russia all the way down to Iran. No shortage of HSC. Too, in the past 10 years, investment in Natural Gas (NG) has outpaced investment in crude. Considering too that Russia, China and Iran are now making energy deals amongst themselves and they are trying to get Venezuela in on the gig, it is fair to say that nobody really needs Saudi Arabia much any more. Throw in the fact that as a society SA is intellectually sterile AND the fact that foreigners (the backbone of the economy) are trying to leave because they have not been paid in years.... Couple the above with the fact that Saudi Arabia still has a penchant to chop off people's heads in public squares and, just for good measure, delights in rounding up the public to herd it into the stadium to witness devine "justice" being meted out ... ... ... I dunno.... SA doesn't really look like a solid place to invest money right now.... If, however, your rationale for investing in SA is that you should invest when blood runs in the street, then, I suppose, this would be a good time.....
  • RJ
    Robert J.
    9 September 2017 @ 16:57
    Over the trailing year-and-a-half, the improvement in Jawad Mian's interview technique is exponential: it is no longer Mian interviewing ... Mian but now Mian digging out and de-crusting pearls of knowledge to cast in front of the viewer! Thank you. Jawad is truly a Real TV asset. This is an excellent interview.
    • JM
      Justin M.
      14 September 2017 @ 21:08
      Totally agree, I just want to echo that Jawad has become a truly phenomenal interviewer. He does a great job of asking very thoughtful questions that tease out the important details of the guest's theses. I don't agree with all of Jawad's views but I cant help but recognize his brilliance.
  • PJ
    Peter J.
    13 September 2017 @ 08:33
    Interesting interview. Surprised there wasn't a more in depth discussion around oil given the Saudi base. Also the discussion on the Dollar peg was interesting, but for me could would have been better, if it had been explained in more detail as to why de-coupling was being considered, as I am truly ignorant of the background and implications.
  • rr
    rlw r.
    3 September 2017 @ 01:35
    Jawad, well done as usual. Omar is indeed an interesting interviewee. Young guys are more hopeful than cynical Gen Xer's, who have lived in the dust of the BBoomers. No question, If only there was a country that would dare step out and lead. Is the peg relevant if Saudi's biggest new customer is China luring payment in Yuan convertible to Gold?
    • DY
      Damian Y.
      13 September 2017 @ 07:05
      Hi RLW R. Thanks for your comment. I'm one of those cynical Gen Xer's. It's not the dust of the BBoomers we live under, it's the debt that they created that we live under that can't be paid back. The young guys (Millennial generation) will quickly learn, that a lot of the tax that they pay, will go to pay for the debt that they've inherited from the BBoomers. The Boomers are one of the most greediest generation that have existed, and future generation will be picking up the bill for a long time to come. Where I live 30cents on every dollar I pay in tax goes to the Boomers pension, something that I can't get or entitled to, as I have too many assets, as I've saved for my retirement. If the Boomers saved instead of consuming then our economy would be in a much better position.
  • VS
    Victor S. | Contributor
    12 September 2017 @ 14:56
    Agree with EDUARDO G to a large degree ... inequality is an issue of liberty in most cases ...see Cuba and North Korea versus Singapore and Hong Kong. The gini indexes are very low for the Marxist nations - but which is better?! Was interesting but not money making.
  • VS
    Victor S. | Contributor
    12 September 2017 @ 14:56
    Agree with EDUARDO G to a large degree ... inequality is an issue of liberty in most cases ...see Cuba and North Korea versus Singapore and Hong Kong. The gini indexes are very low for the Marxist nations - but which is better?! Was interesting but not money making.
  • EG
    Eduardo G.
    12 September 2017 @ 12:48
    Good interview. One thing I struggle with is the almost-socialist part where on the one hand he acknowledges that inequality is a big problem, but then he benefits from it... No disrespect to the interviewee, but my point is that any financial participant should keep those philosophical views private. Anyone who wants the world to 'change' should not wait for governments to change it for them. The key problem of this world is not inequality, but the conflict of interest that creates it, and that no one is willing to address. Until then, better to keep looking for the opportunities to avoid becoming victims of this conflict, the mother of all conflicts. So, once more, good interview. Keen to see if/when the vision of Saudi Arabia crystallizes.
  • HF
    Hassan F.
    11 September 2017 @ 21:55
    Omar seems to be a very smart and ethical individual. Some of his proposals such as a precious metal backed currency, debt jubilee, separation of investment and traditional banks are excellent.
  • RM
    Richard M.
    1 September 2017 @ 12:26
    Jawad, excellent interview as usual! I really like how you dig into the issues facing the KSA and I really liked the interview subject's answers. His ethical points are right on and I also thought his potential solutions to some of the economic systems problems were right on too! Great job (have the guest on again in the future for an update on KSA and the region).
    • TD
      Tom D.
      1 September 2017 @ 14:19
      Totally agree; President Trump (my President) should make Omar Bassal his Treasury Secretary. He is the kind of appointment promised by the President during his campaign .
    • NA
      Nasser A.
      1 September 2017 @ 15:15
      nice view of my city thanks Jawad
    • JH
      John H.
      1 September 2017 @ 19:09
      The ultimate irony ... a bunch of lefty Berkeley and other professors pushing economic policies that just make the rich richer with less trick-down to the poor than supply-side economics. Well done.
    • JH
      Jared H.
      9 September 2017 @ 01:34
      Nothing of substance, just someone who lives in SA and networks well...
  • AF
    Andrew F.
    8 September 2017 @ 11:32
    Another insightful view. Thanks RV.
  • RP
    Roberto P.
    6 September 2017 @ 16:06
    The peg depends on the size of the country rather than political will. If the market think you have a problem, then you have a problem. Just look at the pace Chinese reserve fell in 2015 and 2016. Over a trillion USD. It will depends on oil prices.
  • SF
    Sam F.
    3 September 2017 @ 20:07
    very interesting insights! love to hear perspectives from outside the traditional finance hubs.
  • GP
    Gordon P.
    3 September 2017 @ 16:22
    Great interview, very interesting - I was going to pass on watching this interview, glad I didnt, Thanks RV & team and to Omar
  • DY
    Dmytro Y.
    3 September 2017 @ 12:27
    Very good interview on RVTV. Well done! Thanks to Omar. Very smart guy.
  • FV
    Fredrik V.
    3 September 2017 @ 07:40
    Good primer on key principles of Islamic banking and would be interesting to ask how much the peg is allowed to cost if the Chineese are successful in Oil for Gold...
  • HJ
    Harry J.
    2 September 2017 @ 22:50
  • HJ
    Harry J.
    2 September 2017 @ 22:49
    Jead your best so far!
  • PU
    Peter U.
    2 September 2017 @ 10:21
    very good interview. grounded in reality
  • LT
    Luis T.
    1 September 2017 @ 20:50
    Nothing substitute on-ground research. Smart move.
  • Nv
    Nick v.
    1 September 2017 @ 14:25
    Excellent. I learnt a lot. Thank you