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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."

Instagram's boss faces Congress' questions on harm to teens

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for WIRED

The head of Instagram will find himself in Congress' crosshairs for the first time Wednesday in the one area lawmakers have shown they are willing to pass tech regulations — protecting youngsters online.

Why it matters: Republicans and Democrats have found common ground in grilling tech companies on how their products harm children, especially after revelations in The Wall Street Journal about Instagram's potential harm to the mental health of teen girls.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
58 mins ago - Health

Experts fear a bad flu season on top of COVID

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Public health officials are warning that the U.S. may be on the verge of a dangerous double whammy: COVID and flu, spreading simultaneously.

The big picture: The Delta variant is still circulating across the U.S., and the Omicron variant isn't far behind. On top of that, experts see potential warning signs of a bad flu season, which could leave millions of Americans vulnerable and strain health care resources.

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