(Sept 14): Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. President Gary Cohn backed the US bank’s dealings with embattled Malaysian state fund 1MDB while executives who questioned the transactions were sidelined, according to a new book.
Cohn supported the "potentially lucrative line of business" that some of its top Asia-based bankers were developing in Malaysia, said the authors of "Billion Dollar Whale," to be released by Hachette Books on Tuesday. Those executives included Tim Leissner, the former Goldman banker who led the 1MDB bond sales, and Andrea Vella, who headed Goldman’s debt and structured finance business in Asia.
"The backing of a domineering and powerful personality like Cohn afforded significant cover to those involved in the 1MDB business and drowned out the voices of those who were uncomfortable with the plans to raise billions of dollars for the fund," the authors wrote. Cohn left Goldman in 2016 and later became White House economic adviser, a role he relinquished earlier this year.