Goldman Sachs employees have been indicted with alleged involvement in a vast fraud involving the diversion of billions of dollars from Malaysia’s state development fund 1MDB. Over several years, billions of dollars were allegedly diverted through a network of offshore financial centres and with the assistance of major international financial firms. Goldman Sachs is under investigation by the US Department of Justice, one of its senior employees has pleaded guilty to charges of bribery, conspiracy and money laundering, and the Malaysian government is seeking US$7.5 billion in reparations. It’s not the only large global bank in trouble. Credit Suisse employees have recently been charged with fraud and oversees bribery involving a US$2 billion loan to Mozambique.
This panel brings together Bradley Hope, a financial journalist at The Wall Street Journal and Pulitzer Prize finalist who investigated the Malaysia 1MDB scandal, with academic experts with extensive knowledge of global finance and offshore financial centres. Are the recent scandals isolated incidences involving rogue employees, or are they symptomatic of wider weaknesses in global financial regulation? What steps have governments taken nationally and internationally to prevent fraudulent use of the international financial system? What more needs to be done?