An arrest in Saudi Arabia could be felt as far as Silicon Valley and Wall Street

Los Angeles Times quoted Richard Green of the USC Lusk Center about the potential impact of Saudi officials liquidating U.S. real estate holdings.

Through Kingdom Holding, the prince enjoys ownership in some of the world’s most prestigious properties and businesses. It has a majority interest in the Savoy Hotel in London, a controlling interest in the Plaza New York hotel and owns the Four Seasons George V Hotel in Paris. It owns significant shares of major media companies News Corp. and Time Warner. It’s also invested in Saks Inc., which operates Saks Fifth Avenue luxury department stores.

If Saudi officials opted to liquidate some or all of Kingdom Holding’s investments, however, the effect on U.S. markets would probably be slight, USC economist Richard Green said.

Despite Prince Alwaleed’s high public profile, Kingdom Holdings’ $10-billion valuation is small compared with big players such as Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway at $460 billion and the Vanguard Group, which has $4.5 trillion in assets under management.

“Of course, $10 billion is a big number, but in terms of context it’s not so much,” Green said. “If Warren Buffett starts selling everything Berkshire Hathaway owns, that would be a problem.”

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