DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks are increasingly viewed in the oil-rich Arab countries of the Persian Gulf as the catalyst for an economic boom when Arabs divested from America and reinvested at home.
Arab investors pulled tens of billions of dollars out of the United States. They were angered by perceived American hostility toward Arabs. They worried their assets would be frozen by U.S. counter-terrorism measures. And U.S. markets happened to be plummeting while economies in the Persian Gulf were on the upswing, buoyed by rising oil prices.
The results have been spectacular.
Since late 2001, economies in the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries — Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia — have soared, with stock markets up a collective 400 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 24 percent over that period.
This isn’t exactly the sort of reaction we will benefit from.