If not every week, so every month the world’s media have reported that U.S. authorities have fined another European bank. Most of the victims — renowned banks. Barclays type orHSBC of the City of London. This is a brand new trend in the banking world, which clearly defines the end of the last decade. What lies behind it?
Extraterritorial laws — the basis of the global banking dictate the United States. And before it happened that the banks fined or otherwise sanctioned by the central banks, tax authorities, other government departments and organizations. But to punish only «their», those who passed in the column of «residence.» «Non-residents», ie, Foreign banks no one, including the U.S. government, do not touch him. Around since 2009, Washington has picked up foreign (primarily European) banks have convicted them of violating any U.S. laws. And demanding payment for these violations multimillion-dollar fines to the Treasury United States.
Since the end of the last century, the United States began to actively make laws having extraterritorial actions not only. That is, their performance became mandatory for citizens and companies in the U.S., but also in other countries. This, above all, the various acts establishing a regime of economic and other sanctions against individual countries in the world. Next, the so-called Patriot Act, which was passed hastily after the events of 11.09.2001. Officially, he was declared a tool in the fight against terrorism both within the U.S. and globally. In the list of extraterritorial laws and various regulations aimed at combating drug trafficking, organized crime, corruption, and tax evasion in the U.S. Treasury, money «dirty» money, etc. Originally extraterritorial laws were aimed at non-resident categories such as individual citizens of other states and foreign trade companies (eg, companies that trade with the countries included in the «black list» of Washington).
For foreign banks, the first large-scale sanctions against Washington began to apply them in the middle of the last decade. They concerned the fact that at the direction of the U.S. government the largest U.S. banks, which ensured dollar bills in foreign banks began to close correspondent accounts of the past. Was dealing with the banks, which were known to or suspected of illegal activities, including money laundering «dirty» money, financing of terrorism, etc. It is noteworthy that especially many were closed correspondent accounts of Russian banks. No specific facts of the Russian banks in illegal operations, U.S. banks and the U.S. government did not show. The reason for closing the corresponding accounts were only a «suspicion» and «fear.» However, U.S. officials have long been used to treat without the necessary facts and evidence. According to the then President of the Association of Regional Banks «Russia» Alexander Murichev, only for the period from spring 2004 to spring 2005 were closed U.S. correspondent accounts of about 300 Russian banks.
A third round of quantitative easing (QE3) announced by the US Federal Reserve on September 13 grabbed the media headlines worldwide.
What Quantitative Easing Is About
The term “quantitative easing” is a recent addition to the economic vocabulary and would sound unfamiliar throughout the XX century. It became commonplace across the US establishment – in the White House, the US Congress, the Federal Reserve – when the financial crisis erupted in 2007-2008.
Explained as simply as possible, the launch of quantitative easing meant that the US took to creating new money out of thin air with absolutely no constraints in sight.
These days, few economy experts in the US mention that reckless money printing used to be regarded as an abuse if not downright criminal offense. Excessive inflow of money into the economy provokes inflation, erodes the macroeconomic balance, discourages productive activity, and has an economically polarizing impact on the society.
In most historical epochs, the emission of money was tightly controlled by governments and the mission rested exclusively with state treasuries or finance ministries. No doubt, bankers dreamed of getting hold of the money-printing press some day, and with their backing, theories proliferated proving that the only way to eliminate various abuses linked to money creation was to leave it to private banks to do the job.
In the US, the Congress eventually passed in December, 1913 the Federal Reserve Act, which established the Federal Reserve System with a structure dominated by numerous privately owned banks.
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (hereinafter – the Committee) is closely associated with supranational organisations like the Bank for International Settlements in Basel (BIS), which is often called the «club», the «headquarters» of central banks or the «Central Bank of Last Resort». The Committee’s office is situated in the BIS building.
At the end of 1974, following the disequilibrium of international currencies and banking markets caused by the collapse of the Herstatt Bank in West Germany, the heads of central banks in the G10 countries established the Committee under the auspices of the BIS to develop common international rules with regard to banking supervision.
The Committee formulates common standards for banking supervision and recommendations for their implementation, on the assumption that national authorised bodies (first and foremost central banks) will push them forwards in their own countries. With regard to G10, this is the group of countries that signed a general agreement on borrowing with the IMF in 1962 (Belgium, Great Britain, West Germany, Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, the USA and Japan).
Switzerland, which was not a member of the IMF, joined in 1964, but the name of the group remained as before. Representatives from Luxembourg were also included in the Basel Committee from the very beginning and, from 2001, the Committee has included representatives from Spain.
At present, the Committee includes representatives from central banks and national authorities on banking supervision from 27 countries (the 13 countries already mentioned along with Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa and Turkey, which all joined the Committee in 2009).
Over almost four decades of its activities, the Committee has published tens of documents on different areas of activity, including general issues on the organisation of supervision, capital adequacy, all kinds of risk, the corporate governance of lending and borrowing organisations and so on.
Recently there has been much discussion in the media about the apparent diplomatic rapprochement between the U.S. and Iran and the simultaneous worsening of relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. And increasingly frequent mention is being made of the 1913 creation of the U.S. Federal Reserve System; December will mark its 100th anniversary. In my opinion, the coincidence of recent events in the Middle East and the upcoming centennial of the Federal Reserve is very symbolic.
Another US President has plunged his country deeper into another Middle East military adventure “to take the fight to this terrorist group, for the security of the country and the region and for the entire world”. Worn-out rhetoric aside, what could be the underlying causes for the decision? Radio VR discusses it with Syrian analyst Taleb Ibrahim and US analyst Paul Craig Roberts.
Barak Obama placed Russia second on the list of new global dangers, with ISIS coming in third. What kind of rhetoric is that and why would the US President opt to revive the Cold War customs? Radio VR is discussing the subject with US historian and author William Blum and US political analyst Paul Craig Roberts.