Yup, an excellent article. A friend of mine who did some work in Saudi Arabia in the early 90's told me this is how it worked:

The US went to the House of Saud (I think around WWII or something) and said to them: "We will make you stinking rich. Everyone will hate you, you will be seen by your people and many of your neighbors as some of the worst scum on the planet. But you will be more rich than almost anyone individually and you can buy them if you want. All you have to do is sell us your oil and let us set up military bases."

House of Saud: "Be super rich, and everyone hates us. Well everyone hates us already so might as well be rich while we're at it!"

Incidentally he told me that the work ethic of the people in Saudi Arabia is right up there with your average bong-ripping stoner college dropout. No surprise that 19 of 20 9/11 hijackers are from saudi arabia as they are probably the most disenfranchised in the arab world.

And the part about JPMorgan. Ugh. I was talking to a friend today about karma, and how I don't believe in it. If karma were really true then many of the traditional banking families would be having plagues and diseases of horrible pain inflicted upon them.

I still can't believe that by all appearances it seems as tho the chinese government actually not only understands this but actively works to prevent bankers from becoming too powerful.