Money is a funny thing. You never know where it has been and whose hands have touched it.
This week the SoftBank Vision Fund, $93 billion strong and investing heavily in local real estate start-ups Compass and OpenDoor, has come under the microscope because Saudi Arabia is a major investor in the fund. And the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey is the place where American journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared mysteriously earlier this month.
Now international and U.S. media reports are suggesting that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or members of his family or contingent, either had something to do with Khashoggi’s death or perhaps even ordered it.
Khashoggi was a loud critic of the Saudi royal family and culture. He went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to sort out paperwork for his upcoming wedding.
Okay, you say, how does this tie to SoftBank and Compass and Opendoor?
There is a growing fear that if the Saudi Royal family had anything to do with this man’s death and dismemberment, the financial community — especially in Silicon Valley, and maybe the real estate community — may pull back. I mean, even Dr. Robert Jeffress, the pastor of the 13,000-member First Baptist Church of Dallas, has condemned it and I’m not sure he even realizes the Dallas connections.