Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, a Saudi billionaire, one of the world’s richest men, has been held a prisoner, along with dozens of others, in the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh since November on charges of corruption, extortion, money-laundering and bribery. He has been reportedly tortured and is refusing to pay the $6 billion demanded by Crown Prince Bin Salman for his release, which would amount to about a third of his wealth. He owns major stakes in Twitter and Citigroup, was a key shareholder in 21stCentury FOX and is known as the “Warren Buffett of Saudi Arabia.” He evidently says any payment would amount to an admission of guilt, and lead to the dismantling of much of the business empire he has spent his life building, and which he recently said he would give to philanthropic causes.
The grandson of Ibn Saud, the first Saudi king, he was born 7 March 1955 in Mecca. He’s a Sun Pisces, with a determined Saturn in Scorpio square Pluto, plus a lucky Jupiter Uranus in Cancer.
He certainly rubs Mohammed Bin Salman the wrong way and vice versa with MBS’s Mars in Leo conjunct Bin Talal’s Pluto, which is bitter hostility; and both have the obsessively stubborn Saturn in Scorpio. Their relationship chart has two stressed Yods of Mars sextile Jupiter inconjunct Neptune, and Pluto sextile Neptune inconjunct Jupiter – so they are fated to change each other’s destiny irrevocably for good or for ill.
Bin Talal does look bullish ahead with tr Pluto opposition his Jupiter in 2018/2019 with lucky breaks coming from tr Pluto opposition his Jupiter/Uranus from March onwards for two years; but that apart he’s got undermining Neptune transits to his Pisces Sun from mid this year and two midpoints; with a devastating 2019 to look forward to as his Solar Arc Pluto is conjunct his Neptune and Solar Arc Saturn opposes his Uranus. He’ll make it difficult for Bin Salman but he doesn’t look as if he is winning this battle.
Just as a footnote there was the start of a three part BBC documentary this week on the House of Saud: A Family at War. It was excellent and an eye-opener, starting in a village in Bosnia, laying out how Saudi money had channelled funds into that destructive early 1990s war, had promoted extremist mosques worldwide, including in India, inflaming tensions where before there had been a peaceful Sufi version of Islam; and Saudi charitable donations largely funded 9/11. Had it not been for Mohammed Bin Salman’s recent rejection of the extremist Wahhabist standpoint, the main motivator behind the global mosque building, it would have caused more of a rumpus. A 1980s UK TV doc, The Death of a Princess about an execution caused a split in diplomatic relations. The Times review this week remarked: “the billion-dollar question: is the new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, the liberal, white-knight moderniser the world has been waiting for, or just a blingy hotshot full of counterproductive impulsiveness? And how does his daddy feel about him being man of the year for his aim to kibosh ultra-conservatism?” What it did leave was a sense that the Middle East is heading as one American expert said: ‘into an abyss of hell’ with a mighty sectarian clash looming between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran.