I think this was worthy of a GNP post, as this is one of the first signs of a potentially big geopolitical disaster that may be as big as WW2.
Yeah, WW2 proportions, it's pretty nasty.
The IMF predicts that Saudi-Arabia is going to go bankrupt by 2020. Primarily because of two things: Low oil prices and a lack of political willpower to change their system. "the IMF predicts the kingdom will suffer a negative 21.6 percent “General Government Overall Fiscal Balance” in 2015 and a 19.4 percent negative balance in 2016." That's pretty drastic. I guess most of the money in SA is in private bank accounts, but that won't be worth much if the government collapses. Well, beyond buying airplane tickets to Europe or some generic tax haven. Can't imagine any nation would be too thrilled about picking up 25 million spoiled Saudis though.
There's 30 million citizens in SA, about five actually have a job. three of those work in the "government." The rest are usually living off money handed out by the government, have never cared enough to get an education and are overall spoiled. I'd love to see how they'd react once there's no money to give them their basic supplies.
So, SA looks by these predictions to be entering "a bad time," a bit like Yemen, to be honest. So let's go back to the GNP perspective on things: What does this mean for the rest of the world?
Firstly, we in the west are "allies" of SA. I'm suspecting that Obama's agreements with Iran is a diplomatically sound realignment to this. If we can be on good terms with Iran, we can avoid a east-west conflagration between Shias and Sunnis directly supported by Iran. Still, if SA falls, many nations will fall with them. Iraq, Yemen, Qatar, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, etc. Most of these nations are dependent on a strong SA (third largest military budget in the world today,) so if they fall, we'll have a political vacuum that certain forces will be eager to fill.
So, I haven't really considered too many scenarios of what can happen if SA falls, but I'm pretty sure it'll be a tragedy for the Arab world. I'm guessing Europe will feel the pressure of refugees like we do today, but even stronger. I don't think Europe is going to be very positive to a wave of refugees where 85% has been living a life of carelessness for 40 years and don't know what work is.
I guess this is also a fine example of how nations and borders keep wealth and power in various groups hands. We might be positive to people, as long as they don't strain our regional systems that we call nations so we lose access to the things we paid taxes to build. The world is becoming more and more borderless, but it is when the crisis come that we get put in positions of discomfort.