Kingdom Of Fear: Saudi Arabia On Lockdown

Yves here. One of the striking things about this piece is how little outsiders know.

By Irina Slav, a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry. Originally published at OilPrice

Events in Saudi Arabia are unfolding at a blinding pace, with a radical shift taking place within the upper echelons of government. Last weekend, King Salman announced the set-up of a special anti-corruption force that wasted no time in rounding up more than a dozen government officials—both former and current—five members of the royal family, and several businessmen. Since then, the list has been growing, to more than 60 as of today.

Now there are reports about the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton being turned into a luxury prison for the detainees. There are rumors—which Riyadh has denied—that one of the targets of the purge, Prince Abdulaziz bin Fahd, was killed while resisting arrest. There are also reports that the purge could fill the state coffers with as much as US$800 billion in assets seized from those arrested—all members of the Saudi elite.

Speculation abounds and there is growing worry that the situation could spiral out of control. There is a constant flow of new information coming from Saudi Arabia, such as that one of the Arab world’s leading broadcasters, MBC, has been put under government control. Part of its management was removed and the owner detained. News is also emerging that even the former Saudi Energy Minister Ali al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia’s media face for decades, has been forcibly confined to his quarters.

There is talk that a travel ban has been issued for a number of government officials, including executives from Aramco. That’s on top of reports that Aramco board member Ibrahim al-Assaf, a former Finance Minister in the Kingdom, was also among those arrested.

Naturally, in oil industry circles this raises the question over the safety of Aramco’s IPO and, more than that, what will happen to oil prices if the instability intensifies. For now, the news is all bullish for prices. The purge is widely seen as a pre-emptive strike and power grab by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, head of the new anti-corruption agency and heir to the throne, as well as the champion of the Vision 2030 reform program.

The Crown Prince is also the driving force behind the Aramco IPO, which should provide the funds for the reform program. Now, for the IPO to be as successful as Prince Mohammed wants it to be, global oil prices need to be high, perhaps higher than they are now.

Any political instability in the Kingdom is naturally fueling bullish sentiment. Now there are reports that some royals fleeing prosecution from the new anti-corruption agency have been offered asylum in Yemen by the Houthi rebels that are backed by Saudi Arabia’s arch-enemy, Iran. This is nothing short of astounding, since Saudi Arabia has been at war with the Houthis for two years now, with Prince Mohammed at the spearhead of the conflict.

Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia accused Iran of direct aggression, citing the missile attack the Houthis launched on Riyadh, which was intercepted by the Kingdom’s defense system.

It is difficult to predict where all this will lead. Some, like Dennis Gartman, warn that although the immediate impact of the latest Saudi events is positive for prices, it will turn negative in the longer run as this sort of instability is unsustainable. Others, such as Morgan Stanley’s commodity analysts, are revising upwards their oil price forecasts, encouraged by these same events. OPEC’s Vienna meeting, where the cartel will discuss the extension of the oil production cut it agreed almost a year ago, is less than a month away. There are voices suggesting that Saudi Arabia could make a U-turn on its support for the deal in light of the now higher prices resulting from its internal tumult and the spike in tensions with Iran.

In the meantime, the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh is fully booked until February, as per the hotel’s website, and all guests were asked to leave or had their reservations cancelled.

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  1. Duck1, cisgender quacker

    The kingdom is quite a case study these days. One thinks of all those steel pipes deployed over the desert that will soon be decaying under the sun.

    1. Chris

      Yes Duck, and the everyday Saudis will wake up one day and the rich ones will have disappeared to their bolt holes

  2. The Rev Kev

    I can see the appeal of having King Salman become an autocratic strong-man to rule over Saudi Arabia as strong-men are what a lot of countries prefer dealing with, especially in the west. That may account why he is getting a lot of support from different countries as they no longer have to deal with a whole extended family in their relations. So long as with King Salman it does not become, because he is very young and very ambitious, a case of “one (Ruler) to rule them all…and in the darkness bind them”.
    The corruption charges just seem a convenient excuse to sideline opponents and make a cash grab for their assets. It all seems very Roman like. It may be that the next step will be proscription lists of enemies but I suppose that it all depends on how successful he is on his current course. His threats against Iran just may be a classic way of diverting attention away from what he is doing internally though Saudi Arabia has been trying to bring Lebanon into their orbit for ages. As a complication, I believe that it is about the time of the pilgrimage to Mecca soon so it remains to be seen who he might try to bar from Saudi Arabia.
    It would be ironic if all the Jihadist that Saudi Arabia has been paying for, equipping and training over the decades start to smell blood in the water and decide to make their way to the Kingdom. I can think of several victims, er, countries that would gladly offer to pay these Jihadist tickets first-class to the Kingdom. To be unkind, I will repeat a comment made on another site to describe Saudi Arabia in saying that it is like Game of Thrones except without the dragons or b***s.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Interesting idea that his threats against Iran are a diversion – that hadn’t occurred to me, but it is a possibility. It seems inconceivable that MBS would be stupid enough to provoke four separate wars (Yemen, Qatar, Iran and Lebanon) while plotting an internal coup of this scale. So while the war in Yemen is very real, it is possible I suppose that its a deliberate ploy to create both a distraction and encourage a bunker mentality internally (i.e. keep the military distracted and busy).

      Of course, the other explanation is that he is an arrogant idiot.

      1. Procopius

        I don’t know enough, but I believe the Saudi military is not doing much in Yemen. They don’t like taking casualties; they are, after all, mostly a jobs program for otherwise unemployable young men. As I understand it, the ground troops in Yemen are either from the Emirates, mercenaries hired by the Emirates, and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, plus some Southern Yemeni who are loyal to the government KSA is backing, I forget their names. MbS was terribly disappointed to not get troops from Pakistan or Egypt. Egypt, of course, has had their nose badly bloodied in Yemen a few years ago and have no wish to repeat the experience. Also, Egypt has sent troops to Syria in support of Assad now, so things are complicated. I wish we had actual news reports to rely on. I expect Informed Comment would be good, I’m a little leery of Moon of Alabama, but they seem to be in the ball court. Col. Pat Lang’s Sic Semper Tyrannis is quite good on Syria and Iraq, but I don’t know how good his sources are in KSA.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you.

          That’s right about the UAE. Their operations are directed by an Australian former general.

        2. PlutoniumKun

          The Saudi military is of course weirdly unbalanced because probably sensibly the House of Saud didn’t want to have to worry about a military coup. So they spend most of the budgets on buying every hot shot prince an F-15 (supported by US ground crew of course), while keeping ground forces quite small. I guess they’ve always thought they can rely on mercenaries of one sort or another for ground wars.

  3. kimyo

    Saudi prince’s bold plan for a $640b futuristic megacity

    Saudi Arabia’s visionary Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 32, has offered a glimpse [of] the $640 billion futuristic megacity. NEOM is a business and industrial zone extending to neighbouring Jordan and Egypt and spanning a whopping 26,500sq km — making it 33 times bigger than New York City

    ‘visionary’ now seems to mean ‘able to completely ignore reality’….

    Saudi groundwater “will run out in 13 years”

    The Kingdom’s groundwater accounts for 98% of its total water sources

    if you’ve got 266 billion barrels of oil underfoot why in the world would you be planning to build 16 nuclear reactors? (the u.s., with more than ten times the population uses 7 billion barrels a year.)

    Saudi Arabia plans to build 16 nuclear reactors by 2030

    Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves: how big are they really?

    The kingdom has proven reserves of 266 billion barrels according to government estimates.

    maybe matt simmons was right all along. what’s happening in saudi arabia looks a lot more like the final throes of desperation than any sort of visionary moderation.

    Twilight in the Desert

    In 2005, Matt Simmons wrote a book called Twilight in the Desert. In it, he summarized what he learned about Saudi Arabian oil production by reading 200 academic papers. He concluded from his analysis that the oil extraction techniques being used there were techniques that one might use if the fields were quite depleted. Because of this, he doubted that we should believe stories that Saudi oil production can be greatly expanded. Instead, he raised the possibility that in the not too distant future, Saudi oil production will suddenly decline.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Could the purpose of those 16 nuclear reactors be to power desalination plants? They’d have the money to run them as long as the oil lasted…oh.

      1. visitor

        Atomic power plants actually require a lot of cold sweet water (as cooling liquid) to run.

        Building nuclear energy plants to power desalination plants in order to produce the sweet water that atomic power plants need looks like chasing one’s tail.

        1. BoycottAmazon

          Nuclear plants, per MW, require no more sweet water than a combined cycle plant, such as have provided Saudi Arabia with most it’s existing power. (Single cycle gas plants use much less water, but release much larger amounts of CO2, and Saudi Arabia did sign on to Paris). Bigger issue is how their economy is grow that large if their ultimate heat sinks are already the two hottest ocean waterways in the world, and are already suffering ecological collapse.

          Saudi Arabia’s interest in nuclear power is probably more about getting enough spent fuel stocks to make thousands of dirty bombs a real possibility. Dirty bombs in sufficient volume could be just as devastating as an H-bomb, possibly worse in terms of long term effects particularly in denial of land and resources.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            I’m not sure where you get your figures from, but in general nuclear plants use significantly more cooling water than any other system. Thats assuming its a light water plant, other types may need less. But the vast majority of water used is coolant water, and this can be sea water, it doesn’t have to be sweet water.

            Incidentally, Saudi Arabia doesn’t need any nuclear fuel for nukes, dirty or otherwise. They can just get them from Pakistan – its not much of a secret that the Saudi’s pretty much paid for the Pakistani program, and its widely rumoured that they either have obtained some nukes from them, or can call upon them if needed.

            1. Harry

              Think of this as pronounced in a cowboy voice.

              “That over there is the sellin’ oil. We don’t burn the sellin’ oil cos it’s for sellin’

              So I’m a little nervous about coastal nuclear power stations but I can see they could ease the fresh water crisis they will have. But it would mean that it would be best not to piss off the Houthi going forward.

            2. BoycottAmazon

              Yes,all existing commercial nuclear plant technologies, need a great deal of cooling water, but as you noted, it’s normally salt water, and preferably salt water. Fukushima would have been 1000 times worse if it had been an inland power station. Due to containment considerations, existing technologies are far more capable of reusing de-ionized process water, which conventional plants normal avoid to cut costs.

              Transporting (Pakistan) spent fuel is no easy trick, it’s easy to subvert through non-proliferation treaty, plus Pakistan barely has enough to process into it’s weapon program. A ready stock pile of spent fuel in cooling ponds and casks is another issue entirely, and forcing it out of a Saudi Arabia that owns the USA is no easy trick. It’s also in Putin’s interest, as it increases Iran’s dependency on having an off-set, and I would not be surprised to see the USSR selling nuclear plants to Saudi Arabia after the rapprochement between the them.

              Edit: BTW, Saudi Arabia would eventually use domestic sources of Uranium, which it has in sufficient amounts. Thus containment of proliferation becomes even more difficult.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Seems crazy to build so many nukes when solar is now definitively cheaper and more reliable for power. But its no secret that the Saudis are trying to wean their domestic economy off fossil fuels as domestic use is cutting significantly into their capacity to export. Also, they are heavily dependent on Qatari gas for domestic power generation, another reason why they want an alternative.

      But while its become the norm in the past few years to dismiss Matt Simmons book on the basis that the Saudi’s have managed to significantly increase output, the only real explanation for Saudi policy in the past couple of years is that they are seriously worried about their long term prospects. Only a core of insiders really know how much oil they have, and as Simmons pointed out, the more energy you use to squeeze out the last dregs of oil from a reservoir, the more rapid the drop off will be when you finally run out of oil – in other words, the drop in production will not follow a slow curve, it will be quite sudden and dramatic.

      1. HotFlash

        A nuclear power programme can be useful for some, unh, off-label applications. As for, say, India and its purchase of Candu reactors — “But they promised!”.

    3. /lasse

      “Abdullah Economic City, a metropolis and port located south of where Neom will sit, houses fewer than 10,000 people after more than 10 years, though its projected population was two million. And King Abdullah Financial District north of Riyadh, meant to rival Dubai as an economic hub, is still incomplete after more than a decade. As of last April, nary a financial institution had agreed to occupy any of the district’s 73 buildings.” saudi-arabias-latest-planned-city-costs-500-billion-and-is-insanely-huge/544748/

      Not the first lofty city projects that didn’t fulfill the utopian dream. The world is crowded where there are natural conditions for people to live. A hot dry dessert with very little water is not such a place. Such cities have to be artificially kept afloat.

  4. Thuto

    “A house divided against itself cannot stand”, as the saying goes. Either the House of Saud is indeed tearing itself apart right now (in which case we should really expect a few high profile public beheadings) or this is just theatre to drive up the price of oil in preparation for the Aramco IPO.

  5. Wade Riddick

    There is no clearer sign of the imminent end of the oil age than the present turmoil in Saudi Arabia. The elites are running out of profits to divvy up and they need to reign in their patronage networks to sustain domestic investment/spending.

    Whether the oil reserves are depleted or soon to be devalued by competition from renewables, it’s obvious from this crackdown and from the IPO talk that Saudi elites believe something about fossil fuel commodities is on the verge of a watershed change and they need to cash up. This has been pretty clear for a while now judging from the new generator technologies and battery advances sitting in labs that have yet to hit the market. Oil technology is more than 150 years old and it’s running out of easy efficiency gains. Solid state (e.g., solar) has a ways to run still.

    This would herald a major shift in world-wide rental income in the mining sector with major implications for petrodollar recycling – for instance, Russian profit recycling into America real estate. As Skowronek has pointed out, the whole Trump drama has a certain fin de siècle atmosphere. Oil and coal are the future – but for some reason are so weak, Rick Perry needs to give them subsidies.

    It might indicate why elites are fighting so much behind the scenes in the Republican party and can’t seem to agree on passing anything. Between the disastrous disapproval the Republican brand has with the under 45 demographic and a funding crisis that an oil collapse would represent, that party’s days may be numbered in its present form.

    It’s hard to tell just yet. I think it was Churchill who said observing Soviet politics was like watching bulldogs fight under a rug. You can see the shapes moving around but you don’t know who’s won until the yowling stops and the survivor crawls out.

    1. Expat

      I don’t think the Saudis are capable of long term planning, and the move from oil is long term. If Saudi Arabia is aware of some miracle replacement for oil, I would guess that it would be more public knowledge since they are hardly on the cutting edge of research into desktop fusion or super-efficient solar.

      Oil is here to stay, for better or worse, until we can discover a replacement and then implement it. Electric cars are not a solution to anything but the pollution side of the equation. And you can’t have electric ships or planes.

      Aramco is twenty to thirty years away from being obsolete. Not a long time in the long run, but aeons for most of us.

      1. Wade Riddick

        Can’t plan ahead?
        It was a Saudi oil minister, Sheikh Zaki Yamani, who said, “The Stone Age did not end for lack of stone, and the Oil Age will end long before the world runs out of oil.” He served in the 1970s. I’d say some of them are planning ahead. And the issue isn’t what you think. It’s rival costs and sunk costs. It’s what you can get back on your capital. There’s a whole lending ecology that’s about to collapse.

        “[Y]ou ou can’t have electric ships or planes.”

        I would encourage you to pay attention to the declining cost curves in solar, wind, batteries and electric motors. There are hordes of developers working on electric passenger planes because the battery/engine economics are resolving quickly (otherwise we wouldn’t have witnessed the rise of drones).

    2. ChrisFromGeorgia

      As far as the Saudi drama, IMO it’s all about “porciline maquillage” for the Aramco IPO.

      They must find enough muppets to hand off the flaming bag of doo-doo to. Anything that drives up oil prices will be added to the mix, including threats of war and perhaps, if things get dire, actual war.

  6. PlutoniumKun

    By any standards, this is an incredibly high risk, high stakes game MBS is playing. Given his blunderings in Yemen and Qatar, its not unreasonable to question his and his advisers competence and judgement. I think SA domestic stability has suddenly moved up into first place in potential black swan events for the world economy.

    1. Thuto

      It all begs the question as to where the king is to reign in his son? Or is he sanctioning all this (or perhaps abdicated all responsibilities that come with the throne to the boy)? It’s not inconceivable that the current and would be targets of this witch hunt are hatching their own plan to retaliate (and as the Rev Kev alludes to this might mean unleashing jihadist hell on the streets on Jeddah, Riyadh et al). Potential black swan event indeed.

      1. Thuto

        Calling it a “witch hunt” might imply that the targets are without blemish vis-a-vis corruption, that’s likely not the case. That said, the manner in which they’re being rounded up suggests something more sinister at play than just clamping down on corruption.

      2. The Rev Kev

        You can forget the actual King. He is 80 years old and suffers from dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s so half the time he is out in left field from articles that I have read.

      3. Procopius

        The king is said to be disabled, with Alzheimer’s Syndrome. Essentially, there is no one to “reign [sic] in” MbS.

        1. readerOfTeaLeaves

          Crowning your comment with two more observations:

          Saudi Arabia has the third highest rate of diabetes per capita; the ratings fluctuate depending on source, but Saudi (along with other Gulf states) always seem to be in the top 5.

          Here’s one citation:

          And as for King Salman, **if** he is diabetic or pre-diabetic, that would put him at much higher risk for cognitive impairment (dementia, Alzheimers), because of the vascular implications of diabetes:
          google “Alzheimer’s as Diabetes 3”
          Here’s a simple, clear explanation of the linkage:

          1. tegnost

            Thanks for that link, I wonder why this is the case? I see the us is # 42, mexico # 17…uk 152…interesting, I’d welcome any theories…

  7. HotFlash

    So, lemme get this straight. KoS is our friend forever, and certainly not a place we have to make safe for democracy, let alone the rule of law, right?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The writer is from an oil industry paper, I assume they consider ‘bullish’ to mean ‘oil prices are on the up!’.

  8. hman

    If he does what he says he is going to do, there’s going to be a lot of very pricey real estate hitting the market
    in NY, London, the Riviera etc..
    He’s got the religious police undies in a knot over letting women drive..
    If he can repatriate all the stolen wealth hidden around the world he may not even need to IPO Aramco..
    This is something that should have been done long ago..

    1. JTMcPhee

      I wonder if America, LLC might take a run a repatriating all the wealth stolen from us mopes? Ahahahaha…

  9. financial matters

    Tom Luongo has some interesting thoughts here.


    some positive news on Yemen

    “”It was announced today that the Saudis have lifted the embargo of the Yemeni port at Aden. It remains to be seen what this is a prelude to, but if it is the first step towards ending the disastrous war there then it is very interesting.””

    and some thoughts on who may be behind the purges.

    “”With the U.S. on one side ensuring the behavior of the wayward Saudis and Israelis and Russia on the other guaranteeing that Iran and Hezbollah don’t take advantage of their weakened positions that forms the framework for a substantive and lasting peace process in the region.””

  10. /lasse

    Already when king Salman was appointed he made sort of palace coupe, bypassed clans that traditionally should have important positions. The heirs of Ibn Saud are a huge crowd, its said they are separated in 4 clans that have shared and rotated power positions.
    If KSA crumble the domino blocks my start to fall all around ME, with global implications.

  11. Expat

    The view from the bottom at Aramco (three fairly low level executives I spoke to this week), is that the move was motivated by an anti-corruption drive and a consolidation of political power. No surprise there.

    The Saudis are also convinced that the IPO will go ahead. They think it will involve downstream assets since those are public. They do not believe Aramco or Saudi Arabia will be able to include the upstream assets since the data has been a state secret for so long that no one is ready or able to release it. Without accurate and reliable data on reserves, only a fool or a national government would buy shares in Aramco (Hello China!).

    1. TimmyB

      Regarding the proposed Aramco IPO, the Saidi government is caught between the horns of a dilemma. If it includes oil reserves as an Aramco asset, it will need to have an accounting firm verify the amount of oil reserves. However, the amount of oil reserves is a highly guarded state secret, most likely because they have been rapidly dwindling.

      But without including the oil reserves, the IPO will not raise anything near the expected (and needed) billions of dollars. Who would buy an interest in the Saudi oil infrastructure business without knowing when the Saudi oil will run out?

      1. ChrisFromGeorgia

        Muppets will. Did you catch Trumps’ tweet about having the Saudis list the IPO on the NYSE, not London? I bet Goldman wants in on some of this action.

  12. JimTan

    The Aramco IPO is supposed to raise $100 Billion for Saudi Arabia, but is possibly delayed to 2019. Soon after this news “Saudi Arabia announced on Thursday it has detained 201 people as part of a sweeping probe, estimating that at least $100 billion has been misused through embezzlement and corruption in past decades.”

    Maybe the Saudis just need to raise $100 billion before 2019?

  13. sean

    This is odd situation.

    I’m hearing Mickinsey, Bain, BCG consultants at the Ritz too. Its like forced meeting between the business elites and advisors. Something more is going on than just locking them away. Sounds a lot more like setting new rules for doing business in Saudi Arabia.

    A lot of this sounds like its a lot more than a power grab, but some way to grab the political consensus for reform. I’m only guessing.

    Singapore did ok with a strong man for reform. That is the best example I can see right now.

  14. Richard Garcia

    I think even Goldman (or at least its counsel) will hesitate to recommend a NYSE listing, not just because of the need to provide adequate disclosure on Saudi oil reserves but more critically because they won’t get past the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) disclosure. As summarized in a Grant Thornton publication on going public: “The FCPA requires companies to maintain accurate books and records, and prohibits bribery of public officials. The penalties for failing to comply with the FCPA are severe and can include fines in the hundreds of millions of dollars.” My guess is that this closes the case for a US listing.

  15. audrey jr

    Since it would be irresponsible not to speculate may I say that I have followed the KSA for decades. My former father in law worked in Riyadh for ten years with an American construction firm back in the ’80’s so I got a bit of a glimpse. Scary place to be even back then.
    I have read much about our ‘bud’ MbS and the most helpful information, IMO, comes from Mike Kreiger over at Liberty Blitzkrieg and also Pepe Escobar at Asia Times.
    Pepe, who hangs with a lot of the players, says that MbS is an absolute sociopath, which seems about right based on his actions of the past two years.
    There are three of four dissident princes who have gone missing the past two/three years. These princes had fled to various points in Europe and were all brought back to the KSA against their will. They were on planes which they thought were going somewhere, anywhere else, but pilots and crew had been bribed to take them back to the kingdom. The final fourth dissident is still in Europe, Italy IIRC, but he’s got to be beyond scared.
    The BBC has done a great documentary about the missing dissident princes.
    Trump needs to get the family blog away from MbS and that crazy, evil Netanyahu, who is beat, beat, beating loudly on his own war drums. Gotta beat that corruption indictment that is just around the corner, donchaknow.
    This will not end well for anyone.

    1. wilroncanada

      CBC (Radio Canada) reported yesterday (Thursday) that Hariri of Lebanon had not, as reported in most US news, flown to Saudi Arabia where he made his resignation speech, claiming fear for his life at the hands of Hezbolah. Instead the 6PM news reported, he had been forcefully delivered to SA, and had been forced to read a prepared speech of resignation, and was being held under guard by MbS troops.

      The reason, according to the story, was that SA, Israel, and the USA were unhappy, admitting to have lost Syria, and were looking to Lebanon as a new front in war against Iran and Russia. In addition, it was reported, Hariri has been in discussions with Hezbolah to allow the (US designated) terror group to be part of the government of Lebanon. Hezbolah has been apparently demanding the release of Hariri from SA capture.

      This was a regular newscast, not an opinion piece. The Canadian poodle speaks?

    2. nonclassical

      ..which brings to mind U.S. foreign policy connection Israel since 911, and trump collaboration (and indifference to-) with Saudi royals…

  16. Eustache De Saint Pierre

    “For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground
    And tell sad stories of the death of kings;
    How some have been deposed; some slain in war,
    Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed;
    Some poison’d by their wives: some sleeping kill’d;
    All murder’d: for within the hollow crown
    That rounds the mortal temples of a king
    Keeps Death his court and there the antic sits,
    Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
    Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
    To monarchize, be fear’d and kill with looks,
    Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
    As if this flesh which walls about our life,
    Were brass impregnable, and humour’d thus
    Comes at the last and with a little pin
    Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king!

    Act 3, Scene 2”
    ― William Shakespeare, Richard II

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