In Saudi Arabia, ARAMCO, Bechtel and other Western multinationals had learned early on of the need to elevate a few Saudi nationals like Sulaiman Olayan into positions of power in order to gain access to the Saudi throne. This process, which follows a pattern practiced by multinational corporations worldwide, created a huge disparity of wealth in the Kingdom.
On the one hand you have the House of Saud and less than twenty elite families tied to the throne that became rich as joint venture partners and sales agents for Western multinationals. These jet set billionaires spend their time flying to Monte Carlo on gambling junkets, throwing lavish parties for Western diplomats, consuming copious amounts of alcohol and living in opulent palaces. King Fahd, the current patriarch of the House of Saud, is alone worth some $18 billion.
On the other hand you have 99% of Saudi citizens, mostly devout Shi’ite Muslims, who struggle daily to eke out a meager existence and who have absolutely no say in their country’s undemocratic government-by-bloodline monarchy. This disparity of wealth has often proven explosive, most recently in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US, where 15 of the 19 hijackers of the airplanes that hit the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon were Saudi nationals. A big reason why the US now imports Saudi terrorism along with ARAMCO oil is that is was US corporations who helped create the huge disparity of wealth in Saudi Arabia by elevating certain families into financial dynasties and through their unconditional support for House of Saud cronies.
In the 1950’s, the Alireza family got its break selling jewelry for Cartier, Arples and van Cleef. Today they own Haji Abdullah Alireza & Company (HAACO). HAACO teamed up with Mobil to form the Arabian Petroleum Supply Company, which started out marketing jet fuel at the Jeddah Airport and has since expanded operations. Another HAACO/Mobil joint venture is Saudi Maritime Company. HAACO is Saudi sales agent for Goodyear, Ford, KLM Airlines, Air Algerie, Pepsi, Dunlop and Westinghouse.
The Alireza’s company joined ITT as subcontractors to Lockheed on an air-traffic control project in the Kingdom. Another Alireza-controlled company, the Rezayat Group, has two joint ventures with the Tulsa-based energy company Williams International., one called Saudi Arabian Fabricated Metals Industry and the other known as Rezayat & Williams Construction Company. A third Alireza enterprise is Saudi Arabian Engineering Company- a joint venture with the Dutch multinational Amindha NV. Still another Alireza endeavor is Crescent Transportation, a joint venture with Sea-Land Corporation which operates the container terminal at the port of Damman.
The Jeddah firm of Haji Hussein Alireza is the world’s #1 importer of Mazda vehicles. The Alireza’s linked up with Brown & Root, the Houston-based subsidiary of Halliburton which merged with M.W. Kellogg to become KBR. Alireza and Brown & Root operate an offshore pipeline construction firm in Saudi called Root-Alireza.  The Alireza family owns huge chunks of real estate in the Kingdom and large blocks of stock in many of Saudi’s biggest companies including National Pipe, majority-owned by Japan’s Sumitomo.
The Juffali family is also from Jeddah. They are worth over $1 billion. Their main company, E. A. Juffali & Brothers, owns the world’s largest Mercedes Benz dealership and serves as sales agent for over 60 foreign multinationals including IBM, Siemens, Massey Ferguson, FMC, Borg-Warner, Kelvinator and Michelin. They formed a joint venture with Siemens called Arabia Electric, one with Dow Chemical called Arabian Chemical Company, one with Borg-Warner known as Saudi Air Conditioning Manufacturing Company and another with Massey Ferguson named Saudi Tractor Manufacturing Company
Sheik Ahmed Juffali is a member of the prestigious International Advisory Board at Chase Manhattan Bank. The families’ overseas investments are handled through Enpro International in New York.  The Juffali family’s most important relationship is with Fluor Daniel, the world’s second largest engineering firm after Bechtel. The two teamed up in a venture known as Fluor Arabia which provides engineering services to the Four Horsemen’s numerous ongoing oil, gas and petrochemical projects. Fluor Arabia built two entire petrochemical complexes at the sprawling Jubail Industrial City and is currently engaged in a $20 billion natural gas collection project in Saudi. 
The Algosaibi family of Dhahran is the richest family in Eastern Province. They have joint construction projects with Japanese firms Mitsubishi Electric, Mitsui Harbor, Sanki Engineering and Nippon Benkan through their family firm Khalif Abdel-Rahman Algosaibi Contracting. The family also has a joint venture with Fiat, owns the American Express money exchange franchise for Saudi Arabia and runs fast food and hotel ventures for Grand Metropolitan, which until recently owned Burger King, Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Godfather’s Pizza. Saudi United Insurance Company is an Algosaibi joint venture with three Swiss companies: Swiss Reinsurance, Commercial Union and Baloise Insurance. Oil Field Chemical Company is an Algosaibi partnership with Exxon’s Essochem Belgium subsidiary. Through their National Bottling Company the family owns the Eastern Province Pepsi-Cola franchise.
The Kanoo family is also based in Dhahran, home to ARAMCO headquarters. The Kanoo’s have interests throughout Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. The Kanoos are shipping agents for the Four Horsemen, as well as sales agents for numerous major airlines. They have a joint venture with Otis Elevators called Otis Saudi and own a bus line with Greyhound called Greyhound Services Saudi Arabia. The family is a major shareholder in Investcorp- Bahrain’s largest petrodollar recycling firm. Kanoos have an interest in Ocean Inchcape Ltd., an offshore drilling maintenance services company controlled by the British Inchcape family of PONC/HSBC fame. The Kanoos hold a joint venture with another US construction giant, Foster Wheeler.
Other prominent Saudi families include the Bugshans, the Sulimans, the Abdul-Latif Jameels, the Zahids, the Rajhjis, the Kaakis, the bin Mahfouz and the bin Ladens. Abdul Latif Jameel is worth over $2 billion and has been Toyota’s agent in the Kingdom since 1955. His overseas investments are handled through Jaymont Properties of New York. The Al-Rajhi family owns Al-Rajhi Banking & Investment Corporation and is worth over $4 billion. 
Sheik Khalid bin Mahfouz is worth over $2 billion. He owns National Commercial Bank, the largest in the Arab world, and was one of the biggest shareholders in BCCI.
The now-infamous bin Laden family earned its fortune in the construction business, building the Saudi Royal Palace and refurbishing the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Salem bin Laden was a close business associate of George W. Bush friend James Bath. The bin Laden’s funded an Islamic Studies Chair at Harvard. George Bush Sr. works at Carlyle Group, which managed the bin Laden family fortune until November 2001. Both Mohammed (Osama’s father) and Salem bin Laden died in plane crashes.
The most important of the Saudi families are the Olayans, whose patriarch Sulaiman is the ARAMCO dispatcher turned billionaire Morgan Guaranty insider. His Olayan Group was set up with help from Bechtel near ARAMCO headquarters at Dhahran. Soon the Saudi Arabia Bechtel Corporation was launched, with Olayan as partner. Saudi Arabian Bechtel built the huge Ghazlan I and II power stations in Eastern Province, which supply most of the Kingdom’s electricity. It also built most of the countries oil and natural gas pipelines and a sea-water injection plant for the world’s largest offshore oilfield at Ghawar.
Arabian Bechtel Company is a more recent Olayan/Bechtel venture in which Crown Prince Mohammed Fahd has an interest. It built and manages the huge Jubail Industrial City and built the new international airport at Riyadh. Another joint venture, Saudi Arabian Bechtel Equipment Company, leases heavy equipment in the Kingdom. But Olayan’s dealings with Bechtel are just the tip of the family iceberg.
The Olayan clan owns General Contracting Company which often subcontracts for ARAMCO projects and serves as sales agent for International Harvester, FMC, United Technologies, Chrysler, Crane, Freuhauf, ITT, Grinnell, Cummins, British Leyland and Kenworth among others. In the consumer products realm, the Olayan’s General Trading Company is sales agent for American Tobacco, Armour, Nescafe, Dial, Bristol Meyers Squibb, Campbell’s Soup, Hunt-Wesson, 3M, Swisher, Sterling Drug and Kimberly-Clark. Through still other companies, the Olayan’s represent Kawasaki Steel, Hughes Tool, Mitsubishi and Owens-Corning.
Their Industrial Converting Company manufactures Kimberly-Clark paper products. Arabian Commercial Enterprises (ACE) is the family’s insurance arm. Its clients include ARAMCO, Bechtel, BP Amoco, Mobil and Getty Oil. ACE owns Al Nisr Insurance Company in Lebanon and Saudi Arabian Insurance of Bermuda. Olayan’s have two chemical joint ventures with the Swedish firm Nitro Nobel and one with Houston-based Champion Chemicals. Olayan Group owns half of United Technologies Saudi Arabia, through which it sells Pratt & Whitney engines and Otis elevators. A joint venture with Texaco is Sappco-Texaco Insulation Products. Olayan’s Saudi Security Services works with Burns International Security and Freeport Security in protecting multinational operations in the Kingdom.
Some of Olayan’s business connections are less mundane. His partner in joint venture Evergreen Saudi Arabian Aviation is Evergreen Aviation, the airline which arms dealer/pilot Richard Brenneke worked for in flying arms to the Nicaraguan contras. The Oregon firm has a long history as a CIA contract airline. Olayan Finance Company is tied up with Barclays Bank, a key player in the Caribbean Silver Triangle drug money laundering process, and with Hong Kong’s Jardine Matheson conglomerate, owner of the Hong Kong Jockey Club and much of HSBC. This “triad” joint venture is known as Barclays Jardine Olayan and is incorporated in the Cayman Islands.  The Olayan’s are also close to American Express (AMEX), where family scion Sulaiman was once a board member alongside Henry Kissinger. AMEX has ties to the global drug trade through its links with Edmund Safra’s Republic Bank, purchased in 1999 by HSBC.
As the Olayan’s have amassed their wealth, they have invested heavily in Western banks and corporations, epitomizing the recycling of petrodollars which has become the norm of the Saudi elite. In 1981 the Olayan’s bought big chunks of stock in Chevron, Texaco, Amoco and Conoco. Sulaiman Olayan and Crown Prince Khaled bin Abdullah bin Abdel Rahman al Saud own Competrol, which holds a 1% stake of J.P. Morgan Chase. Competrol owns similar stakes in Mellon Bank, Southeast Bancorp, Valley National First Bank Systems of Phoenix, First Interstate Bank and Hawaii Bancorp. Competrol owns 19% of private equity firm Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and 8% of First Chicago Corporation, a long-time CIA money laundry. The Olayans own big chunks of Occidental Petroleum, Westinghouse, Thermo Electron, Whittaker and United Technologies.
Sulaiman Olayan has served on the boards of Morgan Guaranty, Exxon Mobil and American Express. He is chairman of the Saudi-Spanish Bank in Madrid and member of Morgan Guaranty Trust’s International Council. 
Billionaire Sulaiman Olayan is a fine metaphor for US/Saudi relations. His immense wealth and influence are a direct result of his willingness to aid in the neo-colonization of his country’s oil reserves. Further, his decision to invest this ill-gotten wealth in the West, rather than in the development of the Arab world, has contributed to poverty and unrest in the region.
Dean Henderson is the author of five books:Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network, The Grateful Unrich: Revolution in 50 Countries, Das Kartell der Federal Reserve, Stickin’ it to the Matrix & The Federal Reserve Cartel. You can subscribe free to his weekly Left Hook column @www.hendersonlefthook.wordpress.com