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1MDB

On 22 October 2020, following the settlement with prosecutors and regulators in the USA, the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore, David M. Solomon, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, wrote a memorandum to all employees.

It is published below, in its entirety, unedited.

BIScom Subsection: 

It's not enough but it's a start. And it's too little, too late. The USA's Federal Reserve Board no doubt hopes that by taking a strong line against two individuals that it can diminish the damage done to Goldman Sachs over its participation in the Malaysian financial case relating to 1MDB. And the fact that it's taken so long for the Fed to act doesn't cast the regulator in an especially good light, either.

BIScom Subsection: 

It's a story that isn't gripping Malaysia: in 2015, a helicopter crash resulted in the deaths of several prominent members of the government of then Prime Minister Najib that Najib's office said was carrying guests from a wedding reception for Najib's daughter. Now, in an action before the Shariah High Court in Kuala Lumpur, there's a dispute over the very substantial estate of one of the politicians. So far, in a country obsessed with 1MBD, no one is asking loudly how such wealth was accumulated by one man in a life in public service.

There's history: Malaysia Airlines's fleet used to be almost entirely Boeing. Because there were almost no components common to more than one Boeing model, stocks of parts were enormous and that translated to vast amounts of capital tied up in warehouses. AirAsia, however, like many low-cost airlines, capitalised on the fact that there are many common parts across the Airbus A300 series which means that stock costs (and the space to keep them) can be significantly smaller. Malaysia Airlines began to restructure its fleet. Then, at the height of the 1MDB scandal, the government-linked flag carrier announced it was going to buy Boeing again. And then something interesting happened in the 1MBD investigation in the USA. Current PM Mahathir and his graft-busting team need to take a look at what went on.

CoNet Section: 

The 1 Malaysia Development Fund, which recently received a 17m cash injection from China, despite frequent protestations that there are no money issues, is rapidly turning into a rich income stream for regulators or the governments onto which it passes its profits. After being ordered to pay a substantial penalty in Singapore, RBS Coutts has now been ordered to stump up a lot of Swiss Francs by the authorities there.

42 year old Jens Fred Sturzenegger was manager of the Singapore branch of Falcon Private Bank, closed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore last year. It is alleged that he had direct involvement of the movement of more than USD1,200 million of money related to the 1 Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) accounts connected to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib.

Former Coutts / RBS staff who moved to BSI and caused both organisations to be the subject of serious disciplinary action have been jailed for short periods for their deliberate avoidance of counter-money laundering regimes.

Standard Chartered Bank has been ordered to pay SGD5.2m and Coutts (at the relevant time part of Royal Bank of Scotland) to pay SGD2.4 million for breaches of the Monetary Authority of Singapore's counter-money laundering requirements. It's also a slap in the face for Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib because the penalties arise from compliance failures relating to 1MDB, Najib's flagship project. There is also the minor matter of a Goldman Sachs employee and false statements.

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