With Goldman Sachs representatives running high government positions all across the globe, it is not surprising when the bank gets caught being involved in financial scandals with foreign leaders and governments. From the now European Central Bank head Mario Draghi regarding his involvement in the masking of Greek debt to get them into the Eurozone, to the former Prime Minister of Italy’s Mario Monti, who did the same for that country’s entry into the coalition, the banking firm has its tentacles in nearly every seat of power in the world.
So when a scandal broke in Malaysia earlier this month regarding their state run wealth fund, chances were good that the bank involved in the alleged fraud was none other than Goldman Sachs.
And it was.
Tim Leissner, chairman of Goldman Sachs Southeast Asia’s operations, has taken a “personal leave” amidst corruption scandals associated with Malaysia’s state-owned 1MDB fund, with which Goldman worked closely.
President of Goldman’s Singapore operations since 2006 and chairman of its Southeast Asia operations since 2014, Leissner oversaw the bank’s operations in Malaysia, where it became the top international bank with a 20.3 percent market share since 2010.
Leissner was seen as a “key player” in cultivating the bank’s very profitable relationships with Kuala’ Lumpur’s banking and government elite, including Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, the Financial Times reports.
A number of investigations into 1MDB’s activities are being carried out in various countries, prompted by claims of corruption involving Razak, who chairs 1MDB.
Switzerland’s chief prosecutor, Attorney General Michael Lauber, said in a statement on Friday that he has asked for Malaysia’s help in investigating possible violations of Swiss law by 1MDB, Reuters reported. The suspected misappropriations reportedly amount to $4 billion and concern “bribery of foreign officials, misconduct in public office, money laundering and criminal mismanagement.” – Russia Today
(One has to wonder if Leissner did an Edward Snowden to avoid extradition on the off chance of a criminal indictment)
In just the past week, Goldman Sachs was fined $5.1 billion to cover their fraudulent actions that helped lead to the 2008 credit crisis. This of course was a pittance for a bank who received full payment from the taxpayers when they bailed out AIG, and is the status quo in America where high level bankers are no longer indicted by government agencies for criminal activity.
With nearly half of all Federal Reserve Presidents working at one time for Goldman Sachs, and several U.S. Treasury Secretary’s in the past twenty years doing the same, it is not a stretch to believe that the bank’s agenda is and does go much further than simply finance and banking. And since politics today works hand in hand with the banking establishment, how best to ensure fraud goes unpunished than to be at the right hand of power when scandals break in the offices of leadership.
Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for Secretsofthefed.com, Examiner.com, Roguemoney.net, and To the Death Media, and hosts the popular web blog, The Daily Economist. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.