Patrick Jenkins’ column of June 21 (“A little protectionism will not help the prospects for European banks”) highlights the many flaws in the ban on the participation of 10 global banks in the bond syndication of the Stimulus Fund. EU. The apparent reason for the ban was that these banks had repeatedly violated antitrust rules. It’s true: Many global banks are repeat violators of antitrust / market manipulation laws – for example, the recent guilty pleas by JPMorgan Chase regarding US Treasuries and precious metals markets.
However, antitrust actions are only a small fraction of decades of blatant illegal and criminal conduct on the part of these banks, including, for example, Goldman Sachs’ recent criminal plea in a global foreign bribery and money laundering case. silver. Better Markets released a report detailing nearly 400 major lawsuits against just the six largest U.S. banks over the past 20 years, which have resulted in fines and settlements of nearly $ 200 billion. This report also showed that not only are global banks repeat offenders, but their illegal activities have increased since the financial crash of 2008.
There is no doubt that fines and even criminal charges are little more than a nuisance cost of doing business for these gigantic global banks. If another business had such a shocking track record, it is unlikely to be still in business. So while the rationale for this particular ban may have been a pretext, it is high time that governments and others took the illegal conduct of global banks seriously and deny them lucrative activities such as bond syndication. This loss of material business could actually reduce their illegal behavior.
Dennis M Kelleher
President and CEO, Better Markets Washington, DC, USA