Libya thought it was placing a sure bet when it gave $1.3 billion to Goldman Sachs to invest in currencies and other trades, according to The Wall Street Journal.
What it got: a 98 percent loss, followed by an offer of a huge chunk of Goldman shares.
The newspaper reports that Goldman offered Libyan officials several options for earning back the country's money -- including taking a piece of the global financial firm -- after Goldman lost its investments in bank trades and currency baskets.
The talks eventually amounted to naught, the newspaper reports, and nothing was done about the massive losses in 2008, right as the global economy took a fierce slide.
Goldman and other Western bank pursuits of Libya's massive oil money wasn't illegal. The North African nation was already off the U.S. pariah list in 2004, after then-President George W. Bush's administration eased sanctions against the country following Libya's owning up to the 1988 Pan Am crash over Lockerbie, Scotland, and Qaddafi abandoning his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.
But according to the Journal, Libya's thuggish ways were still so prevalent, that when two Goldman officials visited a top Libyan Investment Authority executive in Tripoli, they were so "rattled" by the meeting, they placed "a panicked phone call to their bosses" to arrange for security on their way out of the country.
So concerned were Goldman bosses about the losses, company chairman and CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein, chief finance officer David A. Viniar and top Goldman executive in Europe Michael Sherwood all got into the negotiations with Libya, the newspaper reports.
Goldman offered Libya's securities-wealth fund an opportunity to invest $3.7 billion in the securities firm, the paper continued, one of six options placed on the table over months of negotiations.
The proposals came at the same time Goldman had taken $5 billion in investments from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. in order to pass the Federal Reserve's "stress test" to determine whether it had to raise additional capital.
The United States is now one of the NATO allies targeting Libya with rockets in an attempt to get Qaddafi, the decades-long despot, out of power and to see a Transitional National Council take his place.