Power banker Tim Leissner — the head of Goldman Sachs Southeast Asia office — has left the white-shoe bank in the wake of a Malaysian government corruption investigation.
As I wrote here, Leissner who help set up financing Malaysian PM Najib Razak’s slush fund, called 1MDB, left Malaysia earlier this year for Beverly Hills with his wife Kimora Lee Simmons the ex-wife of rap promoter Russell Simmons.
(I don’t know what that says that these two were able to meet in social settings. That’s probably has the makings for an entire book.)
The international probe of the fund and Razak includes the FBI looking into the fund as a money laundering operation buying properties across the globe including multi-million dollar properties in New York City, London and Paris.
Leissner and his wife Kimora were friends with the Prime Minister and his wife Rosmah Manso, who is compared to Imelda Marcos for her ability to live a high society lifestyle while the country suffers economically. The first couple allegedly used $681 million tied to the fund that mysteriously turned up in their bank account.
Goldman for its trouble made huge fees and charges by setting up deals with the fund. Some of the fund’s transactions illustrate the cozy relationship between Goldman and the government.
The sum of three bond sales for 1MDB back in 2012 and 2013, totaling as much as $6.5 billion, reportedly yielded fees, commissions and expenses for Goldman of almost $593 million, the equivalent of 9.1 percent of the money raised. The typical cut for an investment bank is about 5 percent.
As I take out my crystal ball Leissner will not be charged with any crime, and will become just another footnote to the corruption emanating from Wall Street.
My one question, which I do not have the resources or knowledge of Malaysian banking and government to answer, but was there one or more people on Malaysian Air flight, which disappeared over the Indian Ocean, who were involved in this scandal?