You are probably familiar with the old practice of placing canaries in an area of a coal mine to indicate when the air is unfit to breath. Since then that idea has been used to refer to things that indicate when a change has occurred in the more general sense.
News from Saudi Arabia might be seen that way. 70% of the country’s revenue is from oil, and “Saudi Arabia’s foreign-exchange reserves declined to $587 billion at the end of March, down more than 21% from a peak of $746 billion in August 2014, according to the latest central-bank data.” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Recently there has been considerable shake-up in government agency roles and personal, all related to moving away from the country’s dependence on oil. Much of the change is also being focused on the country’s youth, mindful of the recent Arab Spring uprising that caused political changes in many countries in the region.