If in fact — and as reported — the UK-based Standard Chartered Bank is fined a token $700 million for the violation of American sanctions in dealing with Iran, then we are left with only one conclusion: CRIME PAYS. (A second conclusion would be that our regulators and government officials are in the pockets of the banks BUT we already knew that.)
There are allegedly $250 billion worth of transactions in question in this Standard Chartered scandal. A slap on the wrist of $700 million would equate to less than .3 of 1% (.003) for dealing with the crowd that would like to see Israel obliterated.
Are you kidding me? Is this a joke or what? What do you think the profit margins were in the business transacted by Standard Chartered with their friends in Iran? Certainly a LOT more than than .003.
With new and explosive scandals becoming regular occurrences, the underside of the financial industry on both sides of the pond is being exposed like never before. How do the shareholders of Standard Chartered feel as the value of their holdings plummet?
Once again, we learn that the real risks in the marketplace go far beyond basic market risks. The greatest risk of all is getting overrun by a situation in which our financial regulators fail to perform. Chirantan Barua, an analyst at Sanford Bernstein, is quoted in the WSJ this morning and gets the award for the greatest understatement of our entire economic crisis,
“These scandals [don’t] reflect well on the regulators who are becoming a global laughing stock.”
No doubt about that but the lives impacted and well beings destroyed are no laughing matter.
I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.
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