Ritchie gets one right

Second, Standard Chartered has a US baking operation. The US is completely entitled to decide that even if all the offences took place outside the US it does not want a branch of a bank not willing to comply with its law operating in its territory.

Indeed.

This also applies to Mastercard and Visa refusing to handle Wikileaks payments because they might lose their US licenses. To Lloyds refusing to bank for Interpal because they might lose their US banking license.

It also applies to Standard Chartered and handling Iranian payments.

Just make sure that you don\’t try and pick and choose between the cases: they\’re all the same. Is the US allowed to decide who gets a US banking or money license? Sure. So don\’t whine if they decide to threaten the withdrawal over something you support. Their gaff, their rules….

I would also point out that Swiss banking has the same right: Swiss gaff, Swiss rules, but that would be becoming controversial, wouldn\’t it?

19 thoughts on “Ritchie gets one right”

  1. What is this “their gaff, their rules” bollocks? The entire territory of the United States is not the Federal Government’s house.

  2. XX Richard Allan // Aug 8, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    What is this “their gaff, their rules” bollocks? The entire territory of the United States is not the Federal Government’s house. XX
    And how many interbnational banks have theit head offices on Indian reservations then?

  3. Anyway, it’s not the Feds having a go at Standard Chartered. It is the New York State authorities.

    The Feds were kept completely out of the loop and are, apparently, not particularly amused.

  4. “What is this ‘their gaff, their rules’ bollocks? The entire territory of the United States is not the Federal Government’s house.”

    You are confusing what you would like to be the case with what is the case. Even if you would like the US govt not to have the power to enforce certain regulations, it doesn’t mean they don’t have that power.

    It’s a common trick when advocating an ideology: state what you would like to be the case as fact. “It *is* the case that property is gained from the state of nature by mixing one’s labour with the land.” “We hold it self-evident that all men *are* endowed with certain inalienable rights.” “The Crown *cannot* imprison people without trial” instead of “the Crown *should not* imprison people without trial.”

  5. James James

    Which would be fine if it was actually the US govt, in the guise of a Federal regulator, censuring Standard Chartered. But it isn’t. It’s a New York State financial regulator which has only existed for a year and is trying to pretend it’s one of the “big boys”. The fact is that its criticisms won’t stick unless one of the the “big boys” decides to support it. Hence the comments from Richard and SE.

  6. James James, your side is the one falling victim to the Is/Ought Fallacy, not mine. Ritchie said: “The US is completely entitled to decide that even if all the offences took place outside the US it does not want a branch of a bank not willing to comply with its law operating in its territory.”

    The key word there is “entitled”. That makes it a moral issue, not a factual one.

  7. Furor Teutonicus // Aug 8, 2012 at 1:25 pm
    XX Richard Allan // Aug 8, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    “What is this “their gaff, their rules” bollocks? The entire territory of the United States is not the Federal Government’s house. XX
    And how many interbnational banks have theit head offices on Indian reservations then?”

    Unfortunately it is – the territories and reservations answer to the federal government – typically without voting rights. In addition the reservations (while nominally independent) are subject to oversight by the BIA.

  8. Free trade, which the US is ostensibly very keen on, demands that you allow foreign companies to do business in your country. So yes, they can exclude banks which do wrong, but only so long as they’re consistent about it.

  9. PaulB

    You don’t understand the rules of “free trade” as the US applies them. “Free trade” means US companies can do whatever they like, but woe betide foreign companies that try to behave like US ones. They have therefore been completely consistent in applying anti-money laundering rules to Standard Chartered and HSBC, but not to Citi, JPM, Bank of America…..

  10. “Free trade” means US companies can do whatever they like, but woe betide foreign companies that try to behave like US ones

    Which is exacerbated by the election of prosecutors – there is no mileage in doing over a local company which might cost your voters their jobs but if you can trash some of these eeeevil furriners …

  11. Frances, Paul B, paying large fines is a cost of doing business (banking) in the US. That’s the way it is. Each individual fine may seem OK (eg Swiss
    Banks over Nazi gold or whatever) , but you will never find small countries placing big fines on US banks. When did Denmark or the Netherlands fine a US bank? Live with it.

  12. Frances, alas I do understand. My point is that the USA is not entitled (morally at least) to demand free access to overseas markets while arbitrarily penalizing foreign companies wishing to trade in the US.

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