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员工涉嫌诈骗,高盛股价岌岌可危

彭博社 2018年11月18日

股价大跌显示出人们的双重担心,一是金融监管会持续保持严厉态势,另外则是看不清下一步发展。

高盛集团的声名遭遇十年来最大危机,股价也一样。

本月初,检察官指控高盛的三位银行家涉嫌一桩马来西亚诈骗案,涉及数十亿美元,之后每天几乎都有高盛与该丑闻相关的消息曝出。本周一高盛受到最严厉的攻击,马来西亚财政部长要求“退还全部费用”,导致高盛股价遭遇2011年以来的最大跌幅。

华尔街的分析师对股价大跌表示震惊,指出高盛并未被指控有不当行为,即便有罚款很可能也不是什么大事。不过有些人表示,股价大跌显示出人们的双重担心,一是金融监管会持续保持严厉态势,另外则是看不清下一步发展。当日美国股市整体表现也不佳。

“涉案金额并没多大,”加拿大皇家银行资本市场的杰拉德·卡西迪表示,“关键在于我们并不清楚相关事实,要点都没披露。市场最担心的就是未知。”

11月1日,美国司法部公开宣布,至少三位高盛资深银行家涉嫌一桩多年罪案,其中包括向马来西亚和其他地区官员行贿,以及洗钱数亿美元。高盛表示正在配合调查,并可能面临“巨额”罚款。

因高盛在全球信贷危机中的行为,2010年屡受国会攻击,之后花了多年时间修复形象。当年美国监管机构指责,高盛故意向投资者隐瞒,其购买产品当中涉及一家对冲基金公司押注与抵押贷款相关的衍生品。后来高盛承认在营销材料方面犯了“错误”并已解决。

在马来西亚方面,调查重点为丑闻缠身的政府投资基金—马发展(1Malaysia Development Bhd.),以及2012年和2013年募集的65亿美元。高盛曾负责处理相关交易,从中收取近6亿美元费用。

高盛的前东南亚主席蒂姆·莱斯纳在承认时辩解称,贿赂官员是为了争取债券交易,而且他和其他人将募资安排为发债以收取更高费用。他还承认一马发展债券超过2亿美元的收益转入他和一位亲属控制的账户。检察官表示,涉案高管规避了银行内部的合规流程,避免被发现。

本周一,马来西亚财政部长林冠英表示,正在努力争取退还所有费用。马来西亚领导人安瓦尔·易卜拉欣周二在议会表示,该事件破坏了该国形象,高盛也应该为此提供赔偿。总理马哈蒂尔·穆罕默德接受CNBC采访时表示,马来西亚受到高盛“欺骗”。有人问起今后会不会禁止华尔街公司在马来西亚开展业务时,马哈迪回答称:“我们还在观察。”

高盛方面的代表拒绝发表评论。

高盛股价下挫7.5%,也是2011年11月单日最大跌幅。买进卖出股票数量超过平时交易量三倍。当日道琼斯工业平均指数仅有四家公司股价上升,其余均下跌,其中高盛股价下跌尤其严重。

本周一,彭博信息分析师艾略特·Z·斯坦恩和珍妮弗·里耶在报告中写道,高盛在美国面临的法律风险包括起诉和调查,成本可能超过20亿美元,其中有超过10亿美元与一马发展相关。

高盛表示,承销债券的收益主要用于开发项目,而莱森纳向公司隐瞒了信息。莱斯纳表示,高盛有推崇保密的公司文化,所以才能向公司合规人员隐瞒不法行为。

上个月接任高盛首席执行官的大卫·所罗门表示,对前雇员的指控“很令人痛心。” 本月早些时候,有人问起所罗门的前任,也是高盛现任董事长劳埃德·布兰克费恩,丑闻对高盛声誉的影响。他面无表情地说:“嗯,不是好事。”(财富中文网)

译者:Charlie

审校:夏林

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s reputation is facing one of its biggest crises of the decade—and now its shares are, too.

Since prosecutors implicated a trio of Goldman Sachs bankers in a multibillion-dollar Malaysian fraud early this month, investors have endured an almost daily drip of news on the firm’s ties to the scandal. The barrage culminated Monday as the country’s finance minister demanded a “full refund,” tipping Goldman’s shares into their biggest drop since 2011.

Across Wall Street, analysts expressed surprise over the dive, noting the bank—which hasn’t been charged with wrongdoing—can probably stomach any payment that might be extracted in the case. Instead, some said, the decline appeared to be a combination of concern over the persistently harsh spotlight and uncertainty about what’s to come. It was also a generally bad day in U.S. markets.

“It’s not so much the dollar amount,” said Gerard Cassidy at RBC Capital Markets. “It’s more that we don’t know all of the facts yet, we don’t know all of the important points to the story at this time. It’s the fear of the unknown.”

On Nov. 1, at least three senior Goldman Sachs bankers were publicly implicated by the U.S. Department of Justice in a multiyear criminal enterprise that included bribing officials in Malaysia and elsewhere and laundering hundreds of millions of dollars. The firm has said it’s cooperating with the investigations and may face “significant” fines.

The bank spent years repairing its image after it became a favorite congressional punching bag in 2010 for its behavior around the global credit crisis. That year, U.S. regulators accused the bank of cheating investors by failing to disclose that a hedge-fund firm betting against a mortgage-linked derivative had played a role in creating what they bought. The bank admitted it made a “mistake” in marketing materials and settled.

The Malaysia probe focuses on the country’s scandal-plagued state investment company, 1Malaysia Development Bhd., and the $6.5 billion it raised in 2012 and 2013. Goldman Sachs handled the deals, reaping almost $600 million in fees.

Tim Leissner, the bank’s former chairman of Southeast Asia, admitted in a plea that he bribed officials to get the bond deals, and that he and others arranged the fundraising as debt offerings to generate higher fees. He also admitted that more than $200 million in proceeds from 1MDB bonds flowed into accounts controlled by him and a relative. Prosecutors have said executives involved circumvented the bank’s internal compliance operations to avoid detection.

Malaysian Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng on Monday said the country is seeking a refund of all the fees it paid. The Southeast Asian nation should also seek compensation from the bank for ruining Malaysia’s image, leader-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim said in parliament Tuesday. Malaysia has been “cheated” by Goldman, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said in a CNBC interview. Asked whether the Wall Street firm might be barred from doing business in Malaysia, Mahathir replied: “We are watching.”

Goldman representatives declined to comment.

The firm’s shares tumbled 7.5%, their biggest one-day drop since November 2011. The volume of stock bought and sold was more than triple the average amount. The bank was the worst performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average on a day in which all but four companies in the index declined.

Goldman’s litigation risks in the U.S. include lawsuits and probes with estimated costs that could top $2 billion, including more than $1 billion from 1MDB matters, Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Elliott Z. Stein and Jennifer Rie wrote in a report Monday.

Goldman Sachs has said it believed proceeds of the debt it underwrote were for development projects and that Leissner withheld information from the firm. Leissner has said Goldman’s culture of secrecy led him to conceal wrongdoing from the company’s compliance staff.

Chief Executive Officer David Solomon, who took over last month, said he’s found the allegations against the former employees “very distressing.” His predecessor Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman’s current chairman, was asked earlier this month what the scandal meant for the bank’s reputation. He deadpanned: “Well, it’s not good.”

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