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Play it again, SAMA

Almost overnight the fears that waves of volatile oil dollars would wreck the world's financial system have receded.

The capacity of the OPEC nations to absorb imports is astonishing, judging by the surprise that greeted the predictions of Dr Otmar Emminger and Morgan Guaranty Trust that the OPEC surpluses may be eliminated in a few years' time. 

If these predictions are correct, those countries that have relied more on their ability to attract oil dollars, than to transfer real wealth through higher exports to OPEC states, may be relatively less well off than they are now; conversely, countries with high export capacities will do better, including Japan and West Germany.

Most of the advice given to OPEC nations on how to recycle has been wasted. The OPEC members have gone on recycling in their own way, pursuing their own ambitions, and setting up their own financial institutions, or strengthening existing ones, to do so.

As Walter Wriston of First National City Bank remarks in this issue of Euromoney: “The private sector – banks, stock markets and 56 different varieties of financial institutions – has handled recycling far more efficiently than the merchants of doom predicted.”

The growth of Arab financial institutions and their emergence as managers of very sizeable Euromarket loans, many of them to developing countries, testify that the Arabs are determined to be more than mere depositors.

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