Goldman Sachs Finally Settled Up With Malaysia

Unsplash/Olga Subach


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Jho Low wins again.

After years of negotiation, Goldman Sachs and Malaysia have agreed to a $3.9B settlement for the 1MDB scandal that saw billions of dollars go missing from Malaysian sovereign fund. Whoops!

GS will pay $2.5B in cash and guaranteed another $1.4B from the recoupment of funds related to 1MDB assets for the Malaysian government.

The two sides were able to come to an agreement outside of the courts, likely saving a sh*t ton of money in legal fees. General counsel goes back into its cage until next time. 

Let’s recap

DJ D-Sol’s foreign entities helped the Malaysian government raise roughly $6.5B in bond sales back and 2012 and 2013, a typically standard practice for the large bank. Over the next few years, billions of dollars were embezzled by the almost fictitious Jho Low and some GS bankers.

Of course, it takes two to tango. Or more than two in this case. Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib had his hand in the cookie jar as well, helping with the embezzlement of the funds.

Eventually, the Malaysian government charged Goldman Sachs in its involvement with the fraud. The US Department of Justice even got involved and charged Tim Leissner and Roger Ng for their involvement in the scandal back in 2018.

The bottom line…

It’s not quite saga level but Goldman is definitely happy to put this scandal behind it. Although both GS and former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib have denied wrongdoing throughout the ordeal, somebody had to take the “L”.

Malaysian Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz is happy to get the money back as well, although the embarrassment certainly won’t go away. This is the most money the country has been able to get out of the bank.

Water Cooler Talking Point(s)

💧 “Move over Dos Equis guy, Jho Low is the most interesting man in the world.” – (Nick, The Water Coolest HQ)


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The Water Coolest is a daily business newsletter consisting of business news, financial advice, and unfiltered commentary. Delivered fresh in your inbox every morning so you're ready to snap necks and cash checks. Written by Tyler Morrin, AJ Glagolev, Nick Ellis, and Ian Barto.