Earlier this week, the highly anticipated trial of Goldman Sachs vs the Libyan Investment Authority kicked off in London. According to the LIA, Goldman manipulated its naivete to the tune of $1.2 billion, making a $275 million profit in the process.* The way the Libyans tell it, the groundwork for the exploitation was laid when a former Goldman banker "embedded himself within the LIA early in the relationship and became exceptionally close to the fund," which meant springing for "expensive entertainment and stylish hotels," a holiday to Morocco, a "highly coveted" Goldman internship for the brother of a "key decision maker at the LIA," and, of course, prostitutes. Today the court heard about said prostitutes and the process by which the embed (Youssef Kabbaj) went about arranging them. Based on the following released text message between Kabbaj and one such woman of the night, it was an exercise in pride-swallowing and high-level negotiating.
Youssef Kabbaj: Hi darling, do you remeber me? Yousef fom london. Just arrived in dubai. Available tonight, with a friend?
Michella: I dont remember u sorry. But where r u staying?
YK: Ritz carlton. We met at emirates tower then mirage. Moroccan restaurant. Moroccan.
M: Yes i remember u.want to meet 2n؛te?
YK: Cool. Michella from media city:))) with pleasure. Where? I am with a friend. We're on our way to the hotel from the airport. Where do you want to meet? Hotel? Somewhere else?
M: I can come to your hotel you will give me and my friend 1500
YK: 200usd each. For taxi.
M: No 300
YK: Come and we will have a drink and discuss. I missed you
M: I can not do that
YK: Where are you now?
M: I am out but im not coming until there for 200
YK: Ok. Come. You have a deal.
M: 300 ok? And i bring my friend too?
YK: Yes. Your friend has to be as good looking at you.
Say what you will about Kabbaj but it's got a sting a bit when a hooker tells you she doesn't remember your...sparkling personality. This guy took one for the team.
*According to Goldman Sachs, 1. How dare you and 2. It made off with "no more than $130 million."