Two weeks ago, the Department of Justice finalized an agreement with French Bank BNP Paribas to admit guilt, and pay $8.9 Billion in what is the largest settlement ever tied to violations of ‘U.S. decreed sanctions’. According to the DOJ, BNP Paribas conspired to ignore sanctions imposed on Sudanfrom 2002-2009, but the real story is that this indictment and fine were sent as a warning to France, and other Eurozone nations to not do business with Russia, as the charges occurred at the same time French authorities werecompletinga new naval deal with Vladimir Putin.
However, foreign countries are not the only ones to receive the financial hammer from Washington for daring to go against the State’s agenda. On July 16, the same Department of Justice issued a $1 billion fine against Standard & Poor’s (S&P), for spurious claims that they inflated bond ratings for banks leading up to the 2008 credit crisis. The truth of the matter is, the Obama Administration used these fake charges as leverage, just as they did with BNP Paribas to punish S&P for their downgrading of America’s AAA rating back in 2011.