US Taxpayer "Bailed Out" BNP Paribas Probed By DoJ & Fed On Sudan, Iran, Libya Deals

Tyler Durden's picture


TARP Recipient BNP Paribas got $4.9bn of bailouts from the U.S. Taxpayer - Today, as the WSJ reports we learn BNP Paribas has been funding transactions in Iran, Syria and other countries subject to U.S. Sanctions since 2002. The bank set aside $1.1 billion to settle investigations by the Department of Justice and the Federal Reserve but as the NY Times reports, investigations are playing out on multiple fronts - centering on whether the firm did "a significant amount" of business in "blacklisted" countires (and routed the deals through the US financial system).

Via WSJ,

“ internal probe conducted over the past few years "a significant volume of transactions" between 2002 and 2009 that could be "considered impermissible under U.S. laws and regulations...” “involving entities that were doing business in U.S.-sanctioned countries, such as Iran, Cuba, Sudan and Libya during the 2002 to 2009 period.


BNP Paribas SA on Thursday became the latest bank to disclose the extent of its litigation problems in the U.S., saying it has set aside $1.1 billion against potential penalties related to transactions in countries under sanctions...


 In most cases, BNP provided dollar-denominated financing to companies, both French and non-French...


BNP is a major provider of export financing for the oil and mining industry...


The transactions didn't necessarily get routed through BNP units in the U.S. Yet, the U.S. is asserting jurisdiction simply by claiming that its currency was involved...”

Via NY Times,

The problem could worsen, as the American authorities might ultimately assess fines higher than $1.1 billion. The bank said that there had not yet been any discussions about the size or timing of any penalties, so the $1.1 billion provision essentially amounted to a guess.


“The actual amount,” the bank acknowledged, “could thus be different, possibly very different, from the amount of the provision.”


The bank, based in Paris, also acknowledged that it had “identified a significant volume of transactions that could be considered impermissible.” The final penalties would be linked to the number of illicit transfers.




The case is the latest sanctions investigation to buffet a major global bank (e.g. HSBC). Several major banks have been caught and penalized by United States authorities for violating international sanctions on financial transaction with countries like Cuba, Iran, Myanmar and Sudan.


We are sure no actual human beings were involved in these decisions and thus no actual human being will see any jail time.. .but when you can borrow (for practically free) almost $5bn from the US taxpayer (for their own good) to fund your shady dealings, then a $1 or $2 billion fine is simply "cost of doing business"...

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Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:38 | 4433102 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

I thought Bernanke stated in front of CONgress that he wasn't bailing out foreign banks?

I guess CONgress is an irrelevant organization.  And here they seem to think they have some sort of power as our representatives.  SUCK ON THAT CONgress!  Fucking gutless complicit windbags!

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:39 | 4433116 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

just wait until snowdon and assange reveal that gitmo has been training, not punishing, members of brotherhood-like organizations

"offsite training", they call it


Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:40 | 4433131 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Both King Obama and the FED have been wiping their feet on CONgress' face.  The whole Legislative branch of government has become worthless as a check and balance.  The Judicial branch is pretty much there too.

We essential have an installed dictator.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:43 | 4433147 Theta_Burn
Theta_Burn's picture

And the CONsequences are ______________?

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:47 | 4433159 Troll Magnet
Troll Magnet's picture

We're long overdue for another false flag op...

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:35 | 4433384 James_Cole
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A couple senators made some noise about this at the time, but it was never actually picked up. One would've thought Americans would be more interested that the private fed res was sending taxpayer money round the world to their - in many cases criminal - bankster buddies without any actual oversight, one would be wrong.

Chances this BNP story gets picked up? 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:47 | 4433162 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

none, since this was all probably done at the request of the CIA

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:00 | 4433221 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Laws are for the little people.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:36 | 4433379 nelsonmandella
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Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:44 | 4433155 nuclearsquid
nuclearsquid's picture

not sure if I get this story?  The trades were done largely BEFORE we bailed them out?  So we are mad that a French bank, using its non-U.S. based subsidiaries traded with countries on a U.S. blacklist, and now we are claiming jurisdiction?  Who the fuck are we to do that?

... sorry i meant to say <booo evil french, go red team!>

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:31 | 4433366 walküre
walküre's picture

you wouldn't see a sledge hammer if it hit you right between your eyes

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:10 | 4433481 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

To uninstall software Hit control-end, insert US Fed

Then hit control-alt-home and insert 1870.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:28 | 4433358 NoTTD
NoTTD's picture


Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:40 | 4433121 Cdad
Cdad's picture

It will be written about for decades...Ben Bernanke's legacy of bailing out criminal organizations.  Way to go Ben!

And to Janet Yellen...good luck trying to scrape all of that off.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:48 | 4433177 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

HAH !!    And they are the TITLE sponsor of the tennis tournament about to happen in Indian Wells, CA.......the BNP Paribas Open.

And guess what......Larry Ellison recently bought that entire tournament and property around it, plus a mansion and golf course nearby.  This being the same Larry Ellison who is a stooge for the NSA.

Birds of a feather, play tennis together.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:49 | 4433184 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

I'd be REALLY curious to know if BNP Paribas is a big user of Oracle products.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:54 | 4433201 Jumbotron
Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:10 | 4433272 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

gotta love that pancake makeup on the mug of

Jim Duffy Senior Data Warehouse Architect BNP Paribas

all he needs now is a white wig & a mole on his cheek.

+1 on the dot connection

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:22 | 4433564 Pseudo Anonym
Pseudo Anonym's picture

nothing wrong w/ that:

Birds of a feather, play tennis together.

larry ellison deserves it.  and if janet yellen helps larry after little tennis match w/ a no interest loan to get another billion or more, so much better:

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:19 | 4433248 Pseudo Anonym
Pseudo Anonym's picture

well, i wouldnt go that far:

...Ben Bernanke's legacy of bailing out criminal organizations.

because i'm sure it was all kosher.  at least how matt taibbi tells it

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:41 | 4433125 FreeMktFisherMN
FreeMktFisherMN's picture

All these banks are one and the the same, members of the criminal zionist operation. 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:02 | 4433235 Crash Overide
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"it has set aside $1.1 billion against potential penalties related to transactions in countries under sanctions..."


So they are paying us with our own fucking money?

I mean, so they are paying us with the money we pay the IRS/FED to print for us and then lend to them for zero interest?

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:23 | 4433335 halfawake
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Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:39 | 4433129 Uncle Sugar
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I bet Yellen can do a great Donald Duck imitation.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:41 | 4433137 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

This is Bitcoin's fault...

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:43 | 4433144 Kaiser Sousa
Kaiser Sousa's picture

same as it ever IS......

DEATH TO THE MONEYCHANGERS.................................

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:49 | 4433173 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I shouldn't be surprised, but the criminality and the hubris never ceases to amaze me.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:53 | 4433198 PTR
PTR's picture

The two pillars of human misery -Greed and Vanity- at your service.



Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:21 | 4433325 Blues Traveler
Blues Traveler's picture

Meanwhile Goldman Sachs owns the uranium company that sold Yellowcake among other rogue nations, to Iran....really?  They have jeopardized world peace. Seems like a great time for a class action lawsuit agains GS. 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:05 | 4433182 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

Ben skates away with full knowledge he will NEVER BE PROSECUTED for the illegal loans he made to foreign banks that he never notified anybody about.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:52 | 4433195 walküre
walküre's picture

Interesting story. Doesn't get too much traction even here on ZH. We talk about the obvious and the crimes they're committing in broad daylight. We're not talking much about the crimes they're committing in the hours when we're all asleep.

So, who are the shareholders of BNP Paribas. The fact they were bailed out alone is not riling me up much anymore. Bailouts happened, the federal and the Fed's balance sheets exploded. Foreign banks were also affected by the shady deals with mortgage backed securities, so they also received bailouts. Ugly like a fat bitch but no matter how hard you try, you can't unsee it.

But there's more to the story in the case of BNP Paribas. They were involving themselves in financial transactions between countries which were essentially declared accessories to the "axis of evil". Yes, remember that one? I know, Bandar Bush and all that - YAWN.

It's relevant to figure out just who the shareholders of these banks are. In the case of shell corps, it would be necessary to find out who controls the shell corps. Give them an ultimatum to come forward or close the bank and seize the assets. Maybe easier said than done.

Regardless, when we have our moment and a real independent government and its commissions, we can demand to have all this uncovered. I want to see the assholes squirm in their seats when we find out that they funded the enemies that our guys fought.

This is what this is. At the top of the shitpile is the Rothschild dynasty and unless we bring them down, one by one, we cannot ever be really free of their fiat oppression.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:18 | 4433322 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

courtesy of Dewey Cheatum & Howe,

behold the PAG:

Private attorney general is an informal term usually used today in the United States to refer to a private party who brings a lawsuit considered to be in the public interest, i.e., benefiting the general public and not just the plaintiff.[1] The person considered "private attorney general" is entitled to recover attorney's fees if he or she prevails. The rationale behind this principle is to provide extra incentive to private citizens to pursue suits that may be of benefit to society at large.

Another example of the "private attorney general" provisions is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). RICO allows average citizens (private attorneys general) to sue those organizations that commit mail and wire fraud as part of their criminal enterprise.[citation needed] To date, there are over 60 federal statutes[citation needed] that encourage private enforcement by allowing prevailing plaintiffs to collect attorney's fees.

sounds like a growth industry...

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 14:56 | 4433206 F.A. Hayek
F.A. Hayek's picture

This couldn't come at a better time. We have record levels of debt, and it will be really helpful when we apply the settlement to dig ourselves out a bit.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:00 | 4433236 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

if i sent even $10 to any of those places the electrodes would already be firmly attached to my ballz bitchez. one law for us, another for them.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:05 | 4433254 F.A. Hayek
F.A. Hayek's picture

maybe the silk road guy could use this settlement as precedent and just buy his way out of the hot seat. nah, it'll never happen

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:03 | 4433240 halfawake
halfawake's picture

Not to channel fonestar... but all the while the full weight of the doj came down on a BTC-er for mere millions, which were probably legal.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:05 | 4433255 olle
olle's picture

We had bad weather in Europe 02-09, but anyway, thanx for the help FED, now we´re doing fine.... ;-)


Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:09 | 4433264 NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

If the Fed gives me $4.9 billion, I will happily pay a $1.1 billion fine out of the money they gave me...

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:10 | 4433283 imbtween
imbtween's picture

lol at probe. they're TBTF/J so why don't you kids just go write some outraged editorials and let responsible people handle this.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:25 | 4433342 NoTTD
NoTTD's picture

So, they were willing to set aside 22% of the amount we gave them to bribe their way to the inevitable civil settlement with no admission of wrongdoing and immunity from criminal charges.


That's white of them.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:35 | 4433386 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

Business as usual. Bankers being bankers. 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:36 | 4433388 olle
olle's picture

I´ll guess the EU taxpayers are just as scammed as You are, the bill always goes down the food chain

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:43 | 4433404 olle
olle's picture

The most secure flow of income today is tax revenue... why are swdish helthcare today manageged from the Bahamas? What do they know about "the swedish model" and what it ment...?

It´s all about money now.....

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:46 | 4433412 BrigstockBoy
BrigstockBoy's picture

No worries...Eric "Let's Pardon Marc Rich" Holder won't let this one get away, right?!

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 23:29 | 4435188 A Dollar Short
A Dollar Short's picture



Thu, 02/13/2014 - 15:58 | 4433459 FieldingMellish
FieldingMellish's picture

Terribly sorry, where's my money? .... or.... Fuck you, pay me.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 18:25 | 4433464 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Lets face it, If you want to be considered as IN  the TBTF first division, you HAVE to pay a fine to the current admin. to show you are now changing tune. "I'm now wearing a brand new pair of white kid gloves. Promise! "...

Having helped to rape the world to enhance the wealth of Oligarchy scam, its now time to pay back a few sultry, stale peanuts, all the while the party goes on. 

C'mon ZH, don't tell a tale with no head to it, like a courtyard chicken in a battery hen pen. 

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:10 | 4433499 Bertie Bear
Bertie Bear's picture

This is nuts. The long reach of the US is getting too long. If BNP wants to do business with The Great or smaller Satan, who is the US to say what it should do? Next Time it will lend yen or euros. The below is the most crass nonsense I've seen in 30 years working in finance! And I've seen some humdingers!

"The transactions didn't necessarily get routed through BNP units in the U.S. Yet, the U.S. is asserting jurisdiction simply by claiming that its currency was involved...”

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 16:59 | 4433703 walküre
walküre's picture

Good to point that out. So every drug related transaction between the Chinese triads and their clients settled in USD is involving the US? Good luck playing 100 years of catch up! As if.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 17:23 | 4433841 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

i'm sitting here wondering how many foreign banks were bailed-out generously to keep their mouths shut about AIGs naked-shorts and exotic dirivative portfolio to infinity? re-hypo`theticated $trillions of naked cds's, mbs's, cdo's, ninja & subprime alt-A paper all backed by the full faith of frb's and US`T for jpm, gs, citi, and bac?

still amazes me, time in and time out, why we just don't bring back and reinstate the 32-page glass-steagall act.


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