The widening and unravelling scandal over the mismanagement and missing billions from 1MDB has at last started to knock on the door of the world’s most powerful and controversial bank – back home in America.
Malaysia’s 1MDB-watchers (including this blog) have, of course, been questioning the antics of Goldman Sachs International and its flamboyant Singapore boss, Tim Leissner, for some time
How come 1MDB raised US$6.5 billion in three separate bond deals, only to end up with a LOSS of over US$649 million
before it had seen a cent, has been a central question?
And, how come Goldman Sachs earned what is now understood to have been a staggering US$593 million in fees and commissions for conducting these three deals – an average of over 9% in charges, compared to a normal market rate of around 0.5% for such services?
My friend Rosmah – by Kimorah
This weekend, the US newspaper, the New York Post, provided an in-depth article on the scandal, noting the recently reported departure of Mr Leissner from his post on an open-ended “leave of absence”.
The high roller is a personal pal of Najib and Rosmah and lives a jet-set life-style, till now fuelled by the record profits of his Asian operations.
Model wife, Kimora Lee Simonds, has opened a lingerie store in LA, which is the only explanation provided for his departure so far, with Leissner apparently quitting his “rock star salary” in order to be nearer her and her new business venture.
Goldman were not commenting to the Post, however, and nor was Leissner.
According to the paper, US legal experts are now speculating that the questionable deal by this increasingly controversial bank, known for its tactic of making inroads into political and decision-making circles, may well end up the subject of a Congressional Enquiry.
If so, could little Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal succeed in throwing a global spotlight over the entire process by which the world’s most powerful banks have dealt with “corrupt countries”? In which case, this matter, dismissed by Najib last month as “a distraction”, just got even bigger. And, quoted the NYPost “this has been a disaster for Goldman”.