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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Goldman Sachs has agreed with the Department of Justice to pay over $2 billion for the bank's role in Malaysia's multi-billion dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: The settlement, expected to be announced within days, would allow Goldman Sachs to avoid a criminal conviction in the U.S. over the bribery and money laundering scandal that saw three of its former bankers banned for life from the banking industry by the Federal Reserve Board.

  • Per the Financial Times, an Asian subsidiary of Goldman Sachs "has agreed to plead guilty" to U.S. charges "as part of a global regulatory settlement that includes more than $2bn in new penalties," expected to be announced this week.

Context: Per Axios' Felix Salmon, the bank facilitated the 1MDB fraud, earning almost $600 million in fees on three bond deals from the deeply corrupt Malaysian fund. Each time, as soon as Goldman provided the money to 1MDB, Jho Low, a former financier to ex-Prime Minister Rajib Najib, would steal it.

  • The bank has always denied wrongdoing and blamed its former rogue workers.

Of note: The bank agreed in July to a $3.9 billion settlement — including $2.5 billion in cash —  in exchange for charges being dropped over its role in raising funds for 1MDB Najib.

  • Najib was sentenced to 12 years in prison after being found guilty of all seven corruption charges against him over the 1MDB case.
  • The DOJ declined to comment on the reports. A spokesperson for Goldman said in an emailed statement Tuesday, "We're not at a point we can comment or help at the present time."

Go deeper: How Goldman Sachs facilitated the heist of the century

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Oct 27, 2020 - Economy & Business

The U.S.-China cold war is coming to financial markets

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Ant Group's $34.5 billion IPO will make the Chinese fintech company the largest listing ever, and its choice to list its shares in Hong Kong and Shanghai rather than New York City marks a pivotal moment that could see the financial industry move towards China.

Why it matters: "This was the first time such a big listing, the largest in human history, was priced outside New York City," Ant Group founder Jack Ma told the Bund Summit in Shanghai Saturday. "We wouldn’t have dared to think about it five years, or even three years ago."

Republican Sen. Sasse slams Nebraska GOP for "weird worship" of Trump after state party rebuke

Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Neb.) Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

The Nebraska Republican Party on Saturday formally "rebuked" Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) for his vote to impeach former President Trump earlier this year, though it stopped short of a formal censure, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Sasse is the latest among a slate of Republicans who have faced some sort of punishment from their state party apparatus after voting to impeach the former president. The senator responded statement Saturday, per the Omaha World-Herald, saying "most Nebraskans don't think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude."

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.

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