Feb 19, 2008

370 million dollars!!!

If you have been wondering why gasoline prices in the US have been so high, I think you might be about to get your answer.

According to the reports, some prince in Saudi Arabia, where they control most of the oil in the world, has just purchased the first private jumbojet. The purchase cost him 160 million Euros. That is something like $235 million dollars. And if that is not enough, he has decided to refurbish it to make it luxurious. the total cost will end up in the range of 250 million Euros (about 370 million dollars).

You can go read about all the luxurious amenities he is having installed in the airplane. The most frivolous of them all, in my opinion, is the 30 million Euros being spent on painting the outside of the plane in gold leafing...

So when you are pumping your gas at the station and paying over $3 per gallon, you now know where that money is going...


  1. Let's not begrudge the man a few bucks for his pleasure. Remember the desert he spends most of his time in to hide from his wives ;-)

  2. snoopy - I do not begrudge him a single penny of his own hard earned money. It is his and he can spend it how he wants. I just think people should know why gas prices are so high... :-)

  3. The prince in question, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, made most of his money in investments, mostly real estate and banks. While I'm certain that he has some money invested in oil, I have the feeling that he'd be able to buy the jet even without that money.

    BTW, the real reason that gas prices are so high is that the oil companies can get away with charging that much. If they could sell enough at twice the price, they probably wouldn't hesitate. (Didn't you study finance?)

    Rafi - You should be nice to the prince. As a power-broker in the blogosphere, he'll probably want to get on your good side, which may mean a trip for you on his new toy.

  4. yeah, supply and demand and all that... but with oil it is not really true, because people cannot just say they will not buy oil. If they do not fill their cars with gas, they cannot go anywhere (god forbid anybody should walk, but walking is only a short distance alternative). Oil is used for heating and manufacturing and pretty much everything. So it is not really like we have much of a coice and can say I choose not to use oil..

    And if I were to receive such an invitation, I would be open to considering it..

  5. Rafi-

    Fair point. (Not unassailable, but fair). In any event, pretty much none of the money spent at the gas station is going directly into the pockets of the guy buying the plane.

  6. Cool! But won't he feel lonely in that big jumbo jet? And how will gold leaf outer paint hold up against the atmosphere?

    If they had the money, this would be a good idea for Chabad. They could upgrade their RV Mitzvah Tanks to Mitzvah Jets. The possibilities of unlimited wealth are endless...

    The bottom line - will this really make the Prince happy? He will constantly be looking to outdo his last purchase. I guess a platinum rocket ship is next...

  7. Frumhouse,

    I've always thought whoever said that about rich people (that they are always trying to outdo their last purchase) never really had enough money for it to be an issue. It's a good example of the axiom that those who (feel that they) don't have a lot of money are the most obsessed with it.

  8. yoni - you are correct. It's like that line from Fiddler on the Roof - "If money is a curse then may G-d strike me down with it. And may I never recover!"

    Very few of us are ever tested with how we would spend and behave were we wealthy beyond imagination. Many of us would welcome the test, though! :)

  9. achi,

    i personally think this is a good thing.

    1) the more $ he spends on himself means less for the terrorists' coffers. (yes, i realize that by raising prices enough he can still pay for both, but i am being hopeful.)

    2) maybe the weight of the gold will make the plane crash. (anyone remember that GI Joe episode where someone gets a gold helicopter as a present but it is too heavy to take off?)

  10. The reasons gas prices in the US are high is:

    1. Oil speculators are doing to that market what other speculators did to bring down the stock market immediately before the depression. Not good and bound to screw everything up.

    2. Is isn't just Judaism and Christianity that are religions. Here, unprovable faith-based systems can also be science and environmentalism. Right now the new holiness for environmentalism is the idea that the environment will convulse in death throes should a drop of oil touch the ground. Based on this idiocy, the EPA has made holy writ that refineries shall be held to such ridiculously high (and thus expensive) standards, that a six year old doesn't even need a crayon to do the cost-benefit analysis. Costly refit versus artificial decrease of supply at a time of increasing demand and increasing raw material cost?

    It's a no-brainer that we keep closing refineries and the gas prices keep climbing. Hurricanes are just a convenience for distracting the superficially gullible with plausible sounding excuses.

    Thanks to the environmentalists we've backed our petroleum industry into a corner that makes them insanely rich if they do what comes naturally in the face of the costs we've imposed on them for no real reason, handing untold wealth to the people we claim to be opposing.

    Evidently, our government officials, elected and appointed, aren't as smart on economics as a prince from a desert kingdom that barely existed before the rise of the automobile.

  11. yoni and frum - it is like the phrase "both being rich and being poor are tests. I have been tested with being poor, now I will take the test of being rich"

    LOZ - could very well be... keep your eyes on the news after the plane gets delivered...

    suite - noted

  12. I think we are reaching the upper limits on the pumping capabilities of the world's available supply of oil. Prices are going to just climb higher as pumping becomes more difficult and oil becomes more scarce.


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