For four long, tedious years, the various rulers and potentates of the various Middle Eastern sovereignties (as well as many, many others beside) were forced to treat Jared Kushner as something other than the hapless failson and failson-in-law that he was. Instead, all had to pretend that here was a true visionary, a leader who could cut through millennia of acrimony and cultural misunderstanding with a mind so unparalleled that it was entrusted with all of the thorniest matters facing the most powerful man in the world, who they also had to pretend was something other than a preening, senile failson himself.
Well, Jared Kushner is out of global politics now, and for good, he says, regardless of his father-in-law’s plans. That doesn’t, of course, mean he’s forgotten his friends in the Persian Gulf, all of those very, very wealthy men—many of them failsons of failsons themselves, of course, as leaders of various hereditary monarchies and emirates—who might be interested in chipping a few hundred million dollars into Jared’s post-peace process project: a hedge fund, of course. However, now that Kushner is out of power, those men feel empowered to ask some more uncomfortable questions than was possible a year ago, namely: Aren’t you the guy whose criminal father had to buy a place for at Harvard, and who repaid that generosity by setting more than $1 billion of your family’s wealth on fire at 666 Fifth Avenue and whose other key investment idea was buying a failing society newspaper? Thanks for all the good times, but no thanks.
Qatar, whose leaders saw Mr. Kushner as an opponent in the administration, declined to invest in his firm, a person familiar with those conversations said. So did the main Emirati sovereign wealth funds; Emirati rulers saw Mr. Kushner as an ally but questioned his track record in business, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions.
Steven T. Mnuchin, Mr. Trump’s Treasury secretary, has already received investments from the Saudis, the Emiratis and the Qataris, according to people familiar with the matter.
Of course, as an entitled scion of wealth and privilege, there’s still hope for Kushner—hope he earned by shrugging off the grisly slaughter and dismemberment of a meddlesome journalist.
The Saudis are more interested, according to four people briefed on their continuing negotiations. The kingdom’s $450 billion Public Investment Fund is negotiating with Mr. Kushner over what could prove to be a sizable investment in his new firm…. [Kushner] played a leading role in the White House in defending Prince Mohammed after U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that he had directed the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi columnist for The Washington Post, who had criticized of the kingdom’s rulers.