Standard Chartered Bank, which was called out last week for allegedly helping Iran launder nearly $250 BILLION worth of illegal transactions, has reached a settlement with New York State to the tune of a $340 MILLION fine.
The sheer enormity of these numbers can’t help but baffle a lowly blogger like myself and so I decided to wonder aloud about what might be a more appropriate punishment for Standard Chartered Bank than the fine and the new protocols the bank will have to follow. It’s like this:
Say you helped a rogue co-worker steal $25,000 over an extended period of time. As a result of your abetting ways, you made a small profit off of it–maybe five hundred dollars max. Then you get caught (or detained on suspicion of theft), but rather than sort through the legal process, you decide to pay $34 to avoid judgment and promise that you’ll let someone monitor your work habits for two years.
This seems to be what Standard Chartered Bank has gotten to do despite a litany of allegations from the Department of Financial Services that reads something like this:
The DFS surprised Standard Chartered last week when it accused the bank of being a “rogue institution” that “schemed” with the Iranian government and “left the US financial system vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes”.
The question now is, couldn’t Benjamin Lawsky, the New York Superintendent of Financial Services, come up with something better than a $34 fine? Or at least something more creative?
Give every American a dollar?
Send Israel 250,000,000,000 pieces of apology chocolate?
Force the British bank to listen to a Jessie J song 340 million times?
If you’ve got a suggestion, I’d love to hear it. Best answer gets a free book…to be purloined from the Tablet office.