LIA and Goldman Sachs Square off in Court
While in the past few days Eid celebrations led to a slower pace of developments throughout Libya and the broader Middle Eastern region, today in London the Libyan Investment Agency (LIA) began its High Court $1bn action against Goldman Sachs. The case, as previously reported, aims to make the US investment bank accountable for the vast financial losses in which the LIA incurred following a series of high-risk derivative investments. A similar case for $1.5bn is expected to be brought forward by the LIA against the French Societe Generale in the next future.
You can read my take on this issue in a contribution to Kit Chellel’s article for Bloomberg on the subject:
“At present the LIA are doing whatever is going to play well with the domestic Libyan public not necessarily what will win them the lawsuit,” said Jason Pack, a Cambridge University academic specializing in Libyan history and founder of the consulting firm Libya-Analysis.com.
“It’s very popular in Libya to say that Western companies took advantage of Libya in the Qaddafi period and were making money hand-over-fist,” Pack said in an e-mail. In fact, LIA employees were “as sophisticated as most Western finance professionals and had access to world-class advisers.” They “were aware how the game is played,” he said.