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Do sanctions work?
October 20th, 2010
Sanctions are penalties imposed by a single country—or a group of countries—on a state which has taken a troublesome economic or political action. They can be economic, for example bans on exports, or they can be financial, which often bar banks from maintaining accounts in the offending country. Trade sanctions, which are often rooted in economics and not politics, include import duties, tariffs, and import or export quotas. The idea behind these restrictions is that a sanction will cause economic harm to the recipient, thereby pressuring that country into compiling with international or bilateral will. ...
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Getting Tough on Banks that Break US Laws
August 17th, 2010
I read an article from The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) today detailing the settlement of charges by United States and New York prosecutors against UK-based Barclays PLC for accepting money from sanctioned countries. The bank was accused of concealing the origins of and then accepting money from Cuba, Libya, Iran and other sanctioned countries whose money may not legally enter the United States.
According to U.S. prosecutors, Barclays followed instructions from foreign banks to omit their names from payment messages. Barclays also routed certain payments through an internal account so they would appear to be coming from...
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A Pattern of Abuse in the International Financial System?
August 17th, 2010
Yesterday, it was announced that Barclays PLC would pay the U.S. Government $298 million to settle a case charging the British bank with blatantly disregarding U.S. sanctions against countries such as Burma, Cuba, Iran, Libya, and Sudan. In doing so, the bank both accepted and acknowledged the charges made against it, and—according to the The Wall Street Journal—took full "responsibility for its conduct and that of its employees." The details of the case are fairly disturbing, highlighting a culture of complete disregard for U.S. regulations. The Journal reports:
U.S. officials said the bank altered payment messages or...
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