While many Americans know of Goldman Sachs’ crimes in the mortgage-security market and their role in the demise of the US economy, considerably fewer are aware of the global scale of their criminal activities.
Goldman Sachs essentially runs an international crime syndicate, whose tentacles reach into every major capital in the world. For example, Goldman played a major role in creating the ongoing Greek debt crisis.
When an earlier, corrupt government in Greece wanted help masking the country’s financial situation in order to enter the Eurozone, they turned to Goldman Sachs. In 2001, Goldman helped the Greek government fool EU officials with a special derivative that used “fictional exchange rates” to hide billions in debt. This allowed Greece to stay within what are known as the Maastricht rules required for Eurozone membership.
Of course, the chickens would come home to roost when it became clear Greece was more indebted than it let on. An austerity program was then foisted onto Greece by EU leadership, which is having ruinous effects on the country’s standard of living.
The new Greek government is considering suing Goldman Sachs to recover $500 million in fees paid to the bank in perpetuation of the fraud scheme.
Goldman Sachs is also facing a lawsuit from the Libyan Investment Authority for $1 billion for taking advantage of unknowing executives at the fund and pushing unneeded products onto them.
And now, Goldman is back in the middle of another government corruption case. Today, The Wall Street Journal reported that Tim Leissner, Goldman Sach’s Southeast Asia chairman, has taken a leave of absence.
The leave comes as Goldman’s Southeast Asia branch is embroiled in an expanding corruption scandal at the Malaysian government investment fund known as 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MBD). Last year, the FBI and Department of Justice started investigating Goldman’s role in some transactions related to 1MBD.
The crux of the scandal is that money has gone missing from 1MBD while Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who oversees the fund, has millions of dollars in his personal accounts that, up until recently, he could not explain.
Recently, Prime Minister Razak claimed that he received a $681 million gift from the Saudi Royal Family for him and his party in the 2013 Malaysian elections. This explanation was accepted and the Malaysian attorney general cleared Razak of all charges yesterday.
Which raises the question of why Goldman Sachs executive Tim Leissner is taking a leave of absence at all. Is the scandal over for Goldman or just getting started?