Goldman Sachs has faced many crises in its time but none more shocking than the case of Tim Leissner, its former senior partner in Southeast Asia. Wall Street is supposed to bring transparency to emerging markets, not to make corruption easier. Leissner, who has admitted to laundering money and bribery, was corrupted in spectacular fashion. He pleaded guilty to conspiring with Jho Low, a flamboyant deal fixer, to gain for Goldman a lead role in $6.5bn of bond financing for 1MDB, a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund. He also helped to channel $2.7bn into bribes, including $4m of jewellery for an official’s wife. Low maintains his innocence. Concealing facts from Goldman’s compliance and legal staff to prevent them from blocking deals was “very much in line with its culture”, he claimed in court. If that is true, Goldman has lost its honour. Even if false, it says little for the bank’s vaunted “federation” — its finance, risk management and legal groups — that he fooled them so easily. T...

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