Kent Moors, expert on oil and natural gas policy, discusses the Saudi economy:

The Saudis never provide documented information on their economy, their oil reserves or revenues, but they clearly have serious problems. They make significant proceeds from exporting oil but they import everything else. The price they pay is dependent on exchange rates, given that their sales are denominated in U.S. dollars. As the dollar goes down, Saudi purchasing power goes down with it declining 47 percent over the last three years. Meanwhile, their domestic expenditures are significantly increasingly. They have a large dependent population and the government has committed itself to providing most services, much free of charge. They have no taxation, but no representation either. There are a huge percentage of unemployed people and half the population is under the age of 26. All the demographics tend towards huge government expenditures.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.