Monday, April 03, 2006

Private enterprise is state-owned

From the Religious Policeman.

There are many tales, from reliable sources, of Saudi entrepreneurs building up profitable businesses, only to have minor royals decide that it's a good market to be in, come in, and buy them out at less-than-fair prices. Why do the businessmen accept? It doesn't take much persuasion when the purchaser belongs to a ruling family with total control over the police force and a legal system where you can just "disappear" for long periods of time. It's easier to sell up, start up again, and hope that next time they don't notice you.
This is a footnote to the Policeman's very funny tale of the 'liberalisation' of the Saudi Stock Exchange. Evidently, in China, it's even worse. No one but the government can own media property. Of course, many people effectively do set up and run magazines, newspapers, etc, but at a certain point they'll receive an official visit, which will lead to a 'sharing of resources' on good socialist principles. Read about Cornishman Mark Kitto's experience in China.

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