Tim Leissner, former Goldman Sachs partner, admitted to laundering money and bribery © FT montage/Getty
Experimental feature

Listen to this article

00:00
00:00
Experimental feature

This article is from today’s FT Opinion email. Sign up to receive a daily digest of the big issues straight to your inbox.

Tim Leissner is a former senior partner for Goldman Sachs in south-east Asia. He has admitted to money laundering and bribery, pleading guilty to conspiring with fixer Jho Low to gain a lead role in financing 1MDB. (Mr Low maintains his innocence). Mr Leissner claimed in court that hiding information from Goldman’s compliance staff was “very much in line with its culture”.

John Gapper argues in his latest column that if Mr Leissner is right, Goldman has lost its honour. Over the last couple of years, western banks and professional service providers working in emerging markets have allowed their names to be tarnished instead of raising the ethical bar. Rather than spreading professionalism and probity, they have scrambled to strike deals with people they should have avoided at all costs.

David Allen Green says that now a Brexit deal has been agreed, there will be disappointments for Brexiters but no surprises.

Janan Ganesh writes that an era of estrangement is distracting Europe and America. Divergent interests and global roles are leading them to grow apart.

Stephen Martin, director-general of the UK Institute of Directors, argues that businesses needs the certainty of a Brexit transition deal.

Jamil Anderlini thinks that American executives are becoming China sceptics. Those who understand Beijing best are following Donald Trump in agitating for confrontation.

David Gardner writes that Donald Trump’s dream of an Arab Nato is a fantasy. The prospects for military co-operation in the Middle East are fading.

What you’ve been saying

EU has no interest in holding May to deadline: letter from Jacek Rostowski, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Poland

Wolfgang Münchau is thoroughly mistaken in claiming that the EU has an interest in allowing UK prime minister Theresa May to use the Article 50 deadline as a device to discipline Tory MPs into voting for her Chequers-style compromise. Whatever happens, nothing could dissuade other countries from attempting to exit the EU more effectively than the political chaos that we would see in Britain after a rejection of Mrs May’s deal. And if the deal is rejected, the best way to avoid the economic costs to the EU side of a no-deal is to extend the deadline.

In response to “Britain’s conspiracy of silence over the Brexit deal”, European_Observer says:

Truth is the first casualty in war, and war is what the Brexiters have been engaged in for decades. For over 30 years the Tories (and sometimes Labour too) have told a pack of lies about the EU, blaming “Brussels” as a cover for their own failings.

The US is ever generous: letter from Joshua Rowe, Manchester, UK

For the president of France to lecture the president of the US about nationalism is the height of irony — even hypocrisy. France has always pursued the most nationalistic and selfish policies while the US has always been (and continues to be) the most generous of nations, and Sunday’s commemorations are a reminder of that.

Today’s opinion

Business needs the certainty of a Brexit transition deal
It is a minimum insurance policy that provides for an orderly withdrawal

Donald Trump’s dream of an Arab Nato is a fantasy
The prospects for military co-operation in the Middle East are fading

An era of estrangement distracts America and Europe
Divergent interests and global roles rather than Trump will lead them to grow apart

With a Brexit text seemingly agreed in principle, what now?
There may be disappointments for Brexiters but there should be no surprises

Instant Insight: Brexit deal is toughest test for Theresa May’s persuasive powers
PM must first persuade cabinet and then the Commons

American executives are becoming China sceptics
Those who know Beijing best are following Trump in agitating for confrontation

Italy’s budget row leaves eurozone in limbo
Europe has been here before with Greece — but this is far more dangerous

The scandal of Goldman Sachs’s secret agent
Banks and consultants are tarnished by doing deals for foreign governments they should avoid

The ruthless campaign to save Mohammed bin Salman
With every passing day, the Saudi prince looks more likely to survive the Khashoggi scandal

FT View

The FT View: The Brexit illusions shattered by Theresa May’s impending deal
Harsh realities of UK’s position exposed by withdrawal agreement

The FT View: Riyadh must be pressed to end its war in Yemen
Khashoggi murder and looming famine prompt a rethink by the west

The Big Read

The Big Read: Electric vehicles spur race to mine deep sea riches
Miners want to tap subsea cobalt deposits for green technologies, but environmentalists worry

Get alerts on Newsletter when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

Follow the topics in this article