December 25, 2018

Why should Goldman Sachs financing 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) be worse than it financing Venezuela’s Maduro’s regime?

David Crow and Laura Noonan in an FT The Big Read write, “Goldman is under increasing scrutiny over its role in underwriting $6.5bn of bond offerings for 1MDB in 2012 and 2013, a service for which it reaped a hefty $600m in fees and trading gains. After the money was raised, $2.7bn was allegedly siphoned off by the Malaysian financier Jho Low, who is accused of masterminding the fraud, to pay for a lavish lifestyle and to bribe Malaysian officials.” “Tim Leissner: Goldman Sachs banker at the heart of 1MDB scandal” December 24.

GS, in exchange for their money obtained $2.8billion Venezuelan bonds paying a 12.75% interest rate, which if repaid would provide GS with about a 42% yearly return, 2.000% more than what US pays. Is that not bribing foreign government officials and should therefore perhaps fall under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977?

With respect to money being siphoned off, if anyone in GS doubts that much of that loan did not go the same route, then the days of GS are soon over. Such naiveté does not survive in the world of finance.

We are now in December 2018, and still not the slightest sign of a "Sorry Venezuelans" from Lloyd Blankfein. An elite, aware of its true responsibilities, would be shaming Lloyd Blankfein… and surely not inviting him to their homes.