Goldman Sachs is reportedly on the cusp of settling one of the biggest criminal cases involving a Wall Street bank since the financial crisis: According to a Bloomberg News report published late Monday evening, the Vampire Squid has reached a tentative agreement with the DoJ to pay more than $2 billion in penalties – a figure that BBG noted is “broadly in line with analysts expectations” – and – here’s the key bit – allows the bank to avoid all criminal penalties.
That last bit is especially important, because, as we’ve chronicled over the past few years, many of the bank’s top executives appeared to have been personally involved with the deal, which was initially brought in by Tim Leissner, formerly the bank’s top man in Southeast Asia, before he was suspended over the deal, before agreeing to cooperate with the Feds against his former employer (where he reportedly told authorities about the endemic “culture of corruption” at play within the bank).
Though we can’t be certain, we suspect that the timing of former Goldman chief Lloyd Blankfein’s departure was influenced by the unfurling scandal; he suddenly left the bank right around the time that Leissner flipped. Word on the street was that Goldman would be made to admit guilt as part of the deal. Indeed, a leak about an ‘imminent’ deal published nearly 1 year ago claimed that the bank had reluctantly agreed to the plea. Apparently, the bank’s legal team was able to avert this, amid whispers that connections between Goldman’s representatives and the current leaders of the DoJ might create conflicts of interest (a negotiating tactic that the bank appears to have leveraged to its advantage; note the deal is reportedly coming just weeks before a close American presidential election).
The deal comes just months after Goldman agreed to pay $3.9 billion in “reparations” to the government of Malaysia for its role in raising the $6.5 billion that seeded the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund, which was supposed to be used to finance public projects, but was instead drained by cronies of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has been convicted in Malaysia for his role in the region’s largest-ever financial fraud.
That settlement included $2.5 billion in cash payments from Goldman to the Malaysian government.
But the fraud’s true ringleader was a mysterious financier named Jho Low, who allegedly orchestrated the siphoning off of money from the fund, which was disbursed to bank accounts controlled by Razak, and others controlled by Low and presumably other cronies. Low went on to spend the money on a seemingly endless stream of luxury goods – jewels, fine art, yachts – Low even used some of the money to finance the film “the Wolf of Wall Street”, and to make illegal campaign contributions to the campaign of former President Barack Obama (this, after Razak was once criticized for his “golf diplomacy” with the former president while his country struggled with historic floods).
The DoJ has seized billions of dollars of these ill-gotten gains, and even returned some of the stolen money to Malaysia.
In return, the bank and its top executives will simply walk away, while Leissner (who pleaded guilty two years ago per his plea deal) and another banker who was arrested in connection with the investigation are left to face the music. Source: ZeroHedge
God often uses men who are not of the best moral character. Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Herod, and Trump (amongst others), to accomplish His will in events He orchestrates during human history. We either trust the sovereignty of God or we don’t. Nothing happens apart from Him…
The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back…
The Birth Pains Are Growing Stronger….
One of the signs of ruling class collapse is when they can no longer enforce the rules that maintain them as a ruling class. When the Romans started making exceptions to republican governance, it was a matter of time before someone simply decided the rules no longer applied to them. Perhaps the robot historians will consider Obama our Marius or Sulla. Maybe that person is in the near future. Either way, the rule of law is over and what comes next is the rule of men.
“Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.” Outlaw Josey Wales
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