Goldman ends bond scandal for $3.9B
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia’s government said Friday it has reached a $3.9 billion settlement with Goldman Sachs in exchange for dropping criminal charges against the bank over bond sales that raised money for the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund, which was looted of billions of dollars in a massive scandal.
Malaysian and U.S. prosecutors had alleged that the bond sales organized by Goldman provided one of the means for associates of ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak to steal billions over several years from a fund that was ostensibly set up to accelerate Malaysia’s economic development.
Najib is on trial on multiple corruption charges. Goldman and two of its former executives were charged with alleged breaches of securities laws including misleading investors over the bond sales. Another 17 former and current Goldman executives were also charged over alleged roles in the fraud.
The finance ministry said Goldman agreed to pay $2.5 billion in cash and guarantee that Malaysia gets at least $1.4 billion in proceeds from assets bought with the bond money that have since been seized.
It said the deal was a sharp jump from Goldman’s previous offer of $1.75 billion in 2019 and will avoid lengthy and costly court battles.
Oilfield firm slashes jobs amid rout
HOUSTON — Schlumberger is cutting more than 21,000 jobs as the global coronavirus pandemic quashes demand for energy and oil prices are routed. The company will pay more than $1 billion in severance benefits.
The job cuts announced Friday, about a quarter of its entire workforce, puts the number of people employed by the world’s largest oilfield services company close to where it was at the start of the oil and gas fracking boom that upended global energy markets and put the U.S. on top.
“This has probably been the most challenging quarter in past decades,” said CEO Olivier Le Peuch.
Crude prices have dropped 33 percent this year, and natural gas has fallen 17 percent, as much of the world took shelter from the coronavirus. Almost all major users of energy have been crippled because of the lockdown.
McDonald’s to require masks in US
NEW YORK — McDonald’s says it will be requiring customers to wear face coverings when entering its U.S. restaurants as the number of new virus cases continue to surge in many states. The move, announced Friday, will be in effect on Aug. 1.
McDonald’s joins a parade of companies issuing mask mandates for its customers in the last week or so and includes Walmart, Target, and Kohl’s. Starbucks also recently issued a mask mandate for customers who visit its company-owned café locations in the U.S.
McDonald’s said that 82 percent of its restaurants are in states or localities that require facial coverings for both crew and customers. But it said it is “important we protect the safety of all employees and customers,” according to a joint statement from McDonald’s USA president and the chair of the National Franchise Leadership Alliance.
The iconic fast food chain also said that in cases where customers decline to…