US Set To Alienate Angry Germany Next, As Crackdown Shifts From BNP To Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank

Tyler Durden's picture

As we reported over the weekend in "By "Punishing" France, The US Just Accelerated The Demise Of The Dollar", following the record $9 billion fine against French BNP, the outcry has been fast and furious, with virtually everyone in the local chain of command, from the CEO of Total to the head of the Bank of France (and ECB member) Christian Noyer, all saying that the US is now clearly abusing the reserve power of the dollar and it is time to move away from a dollar-based reserve currency (how that jives with concurrent French demands for a lower EUR is a different, incomprehensible matter entirely).

It appears that having pushed France forcefully into the Russia-China Eurasian, and anti-US camp, the US will now do the same with Germany. Because after infuriating the German population by first refusing to return their gold contained (the legend goes) at the New York Fed, and then with scandal after spying scandal, most recently involving the CIA directly soliciting a German double agent, now the time has come to "punish" Germany's largest banks for the same kind of money laundering that BNP was engaged in. As the NYT and Reuters report, the time has come to shift away from the BNP scandal and focus on what will soon be the Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank fallout.

According to the NYT, the money laundering crackdown is "bound for another European financial center: Germany. State and federal authorities have begun settlement talks with Commerzbank, Germany’s second-largest lender, over the bank’s dealings with Iran and other countries blacklisted by the United States, according to people briefed on the matter. The bank, which is suspected of transferring money through its American operations on behalf of companies in Iran and Sudan, could strike a settlement deal with the state and federal authorities as soon as this summer, said the people briefed on the matter, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

The contours of a settlement, which the authorities have only begun to sketch out, are expected to include at least $500 million in penalties for Commerzbank, the people added. Although prosecutors were still weighing punishments, the people briefed on the matter said that the bank would most likely face a so-called deferred prosecution agreement, which would suspend criminal charges in exchange for the financial penalty and other concessions.

It's not just Commerzbank - a settlement with the smaller bank will merely pave the way for the punishment of the biggest bank of all (in terms of groiss derivative notional held): Deutsche Bank.

A potential deal with Commerzbank — which is expected to pave the way for a separate settlement with Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest bank — would pale in comparison to the case announced last week against France’s biggest bank, BNP Paribas. The French bank agreed to pay a record $8.9 billion penalty and plead guilty to criminal charges for processing transactions on behalf of Sudan and other countries that America has hit with sanctions, a rare criminal action against a financial giant.

As NYT adds, correctly, "The Commerzbank investigation features an added twist: The bank is 17 percent owned by the German government. It is unclear whether — as in the BNP case, which led French authorities to intervene on the bank’s behalf — the settlement talks could inflame diplomatic tensions between Washington and Berlin."

Of course, since this is the ridiculous "scorched earth" diplomatic policy, if one may call it that, of the Obama administration, nobody is surprised any more that the US president is alienating one former ally after another.

As we first observed a few weeks ago when we revealed JPM's involvement in all of this money laundering, "some critics have questioned why American authorities have set their eye on European banks. The answer, authorities say, is that American banks by and large avoided processing transactions for Iran and Sudan. But American banks are not immune from touching dirty money. Citigroup’s Banamex unit is under investigation for processing money linked to a drug cartel. And in January, JPMorgan Chase reached a roughly $2 billion deal with the authorities over ignoring signs of the Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Bernard L. Madoff, who held accounts at the bank for over two decades."

Not only that but as we wrote over the weekend, the bank that was instrumental in facilitating BNP's money laundering for nearly a decade was none other than JPM. One wonders if JPM also "unwittingly" was the bank that made German money laundering around the globe possible. Did we mention unwittingly?

Still, while one can debate the idiocy of US foreign policy, eager to push European allies into the willing hands of Russia and China at the worst possible moment, when regional and civil wars and conflicts are suddenly breaking out across all key geopolitical hotspots, one wonders: in the case of BNP, the "fine" was as a result of French unwillingness to halt the Russian amphibious warship deal despite US demands. So it would be curious just what the US blackmail against German banks is for: one really does wonder just what punishment Angela Merkel deserves behind the scenes in the eyes of John Kerry et clueless al, to punish her and Germany so blatantly for the entire world to see.

One thing is clear: if the US thinks that Germany will continue to consider America its BFF and make zero contingency plans for when the alliance with the US finally crashes and burns, it will be truly surprised when the Eurasian alliance of Russia and China finally announces its final, all-important, missing link member: the manufacturing and export powerhouse that is Germany itself.

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RiverRoad's picture

At least all the cards are on the table now:  They've been taking our $$ for years and two-timing us all the way.

Ban KKiller's picture

Dimon is not concerned as he is above the law...

FED wars! When will the twelve districts fight each other?

viator's picture

Putin must think he's died and gone to the Winter Palace. The US gives a finger to the whole world.

falak pema's picture

My oh my, Oligarchy financi al thieves are really falling out! 

tony wilson's picture

friends of the fed jpm and goldman sachs and the rothshild family.

let me be perfectly clear now hear hare now.





GetZeeGold's picture



The point is moot......cause we sure as hell don't have it now.


You can check Fort Knox....but we have troops there to keep people from looking inside.

NoWayJose's picture

Merkel was just in western China sealing some trade deals. China wants to develop better infrastructure in that area - and those are the of high value exports and engineering projects that German companies like Siemens excel at. Merkel is already ahead of Obama.

Zeta Reticuli's picture


Load gun, shoot foot.

Reload gun, shoot other foot.


COSMOS's picture

Reload gun, shoot dick off, no longer alpha male....

post turtle saver's picture

didn't I say that the French needed to keep their heads down and their mouths shut or they'd pull everyone else down with them?

you lie down with dogs, you get fleas... you lie down with the French, you get their fleas and the fleas of everyone else they've lain down with...

the true purpose happening in the background is to weaken and eventually take down the ICE trading cartel, no more fake ass Brent Oil trades fucking up the spot prices with the amplifying effect of North Sea going peak, we're gonna go back to the dollar and WTI running the world the way Jesus intended lol... it's all there in front of you and y'all are too dumb to see it, this is a Big Oil War... ICE is Enron on steroids (physical stocking anyone?) with even fewer morals and should have been put down a long time ago, looks like they're finally getting around to it... if you're a trader or hedge fund associate for ICE I strongly suggest you check your six at all times, you have a target painted on your back lol... just do like the big boys are doing and start selling out everyone around you to save your sorry ass, it'll all be over soon... if you're a hedgie you can start by putting everything in your wife's name, assuming you can trust your wife lol

COSMOS's picture

Really, the French had the fleas all along?

I thought we were the parasitized country, all this time.

I think we have been giving our killer fleas to every country around the world.  Those fleas are called dollars.

post turtle saver's picture

fuck off cosmos... you and your europhile ilk make me sick... anyone with a brain in their head knows that ICE has been *the* cause of global energy price spikes and instability since its inception in 2000, it's well known that it's heavily backed by French concerns who are more than happy to end-run around any attempts to prevent trade to terrorist sponsors, and you have the nerve to call the US a parasitized country... the French in particular and the EU in general have given up all claim to moral pretense a long time ago... y'all are just mad that 'MURICA has showed up on their doorstep to bring the dogs to heel... look at all this whining, crying, pathetic wailing and mewlings about the oh so bad US... that alone tells me the US is on the right track...

no one here appears to be willing or able to take the time to research the true purpose behind these efforts... it's to take down a criminal oil cartel that's been fixing prices based on phony data for over 12 years... we finally get enough layers peeled back to get to the center of the onion and people are mad that the US is actually doing the right thing for a change... the only conclusion I can draw from this is that the average RThedge denizen can't tell shit from shinola, and your comment does nothing but prove that...

recall that, when ICE was formed, the OPEC price band was around $25 US per barrel... that was cracked when ICE took advantage of peak conditions for Brent Oil and started pushing the whole Peak Oil agenda through the EU... the shit that took place at Davos in particular was pure unconcentrated evil... the US knew it was bullshit, the Saudis knew it was bullshit, but nevertheless here we are... peak oil = price fixing by continental euro banks, a fucking lie all along... but skimming $50B US a month on round trip trades using a phony Brent Oil index wasn't enough, oh no, those clowns had to launder money for do-not-trade nations *through US exchanges* - talk about greedy and stupid, of course they were going to get caught... giving the US the excuse needed to go after them once and for all, and not a shot fired...

so of course all the eurotrash caught with their hand in the cookie jar is going to whine, cry, bluster, and ultimately speak boldly but *do nothing* because when push comes to shove they don't have the balls to take on the US for real... the petrodollar is going to end up stronger than ever and all their plotting & scheming will be for naught... wail and gnash your teeth some more, eurobitchez, you get to feel another 50 years of US bootheel on your faces... and if you want to blame someone for *that*, look in a goddamned mirror, you're the ones that decided to poke the giant until it woke up... stupid fuckers

Youri Carma's picture

Very hypocritical because:

US company signs billion-dollar energy deal with Iran
6 July 2014
, (RT)

I think all these headlines can be placed under the umbrella of; U.S. pissed off the French/The Financial War:

- French stock market watchdog frustrates acquisition by GE, Alstom (google trans from Dutch)

- Total CEO calls for bigger euro role in oil payments

- France’s Noyer Says BNP May Prompt Shift Away From Dollar

Hannibal's picture

Thanks to NSA spying on foreign politicians to US can and has blackmailed every single one of them.

p00k1e's picture

A loan mailer sent the Anthrax letters back in 2001.

Calculus99's picture

Charming way to treat your friends/allies.

Try it out for yourself, fine your wife or girlfriend and see how your relationship develops in the future.

BigInJapan's picture


kchrisc's picture

It really is funny when one thinks about it.

The Russians have gas and the threat of not supplying gas and the DC US has only the threat of stealing more of their "printed" lucre back in a mad effort to prop up their free-falling empire.

kchrisc's picture

As the worm, Petro$, turns.

Wahooo's picture

That's funny. We do what we're told by the Saudis when it comes to oil and gas. We'll never export that stuff in any quantity.

Peter Pan's picture

The hypocrisy of the USA is so abundant particularly when one considers that there are no questions asked about where the money came from if that money is headed for real estate in the USA.


RaceToTheBottom's picture

That is so true.  Without money laundering propping up US real-estate, our depression would be even clearer...

FlyingDutchman's picture

Anybody any idea what could happen here once the foreign laundering buyers are no longer needed?

You just have to be crazy to have any exposure to these guys.

laomei's picture

I fail to see why anyone else should really give a fuck about the little enemy lists that the US crafts out of wholecloth.  Much less, why they should give a fuck about "fines".  Just ditch the American operations and make up the difference by specifically focusing more on the members of that enemy list.  

Zwelgje's picture

I guess you describe what's happening. 

w4mps's picture

Tell them they'll consider the validity of their claim as soon as the rest of their gold is repatriated.

Racer's picture

The US bully is so arrogant it thinks it can do what it likes.

F%ck OFF you ignorant warmonger.

Lea's picture

Obvious. The blackmail goes like this: you Germans drop the case of the spying by the USA (along with your friggin' gold), or you pay lots of huuuuuuge biiiiig money. Geddit?

Coletrane's picture

Your soft comfortable lives are not going to be preserved by doing nothing , the excuses for doing nothing are being destroyed .

Latitude25's picture

The German Gov and banks are whore bitches just like those in the US.  Everything done is by agreement and to refocus the blame for a crisis on the selected villain(s).

David Wooten's picture

Bad news is sometimes good news.  I do not want to see war between US and Russia over Ukraine and if 'our' NATO allies won't support it, we (hopefully) won't get war.  So on with the alienation between US and our (hopefully former) allies.

orangegeek's picture

UN Oil for Food in Iraq was run by the french banks and Petro Fina - Paris oil company - started in the 1990s.


Bush invaded Iraq and shut this shit down.  Canada sucked hole and sided with Europe (did no go into Iraq) because Canada was run by Paris at the time - Demarais and Dussault families in Montreal.


Now Barry is doing the same with regards to Germany's games.


Follow the bouncing dollar bill folks.

post turtle saver's picture

finally, someone who gets what's going on... +1

Pee Wee's picture

Yeah, because "settlement talks" are so damn punishing!

Yank their charter, prosecute the criminals... nah, that means one less record bonus for fraud factories.

The USA is so f-ing corrupt and spineless....

AbbeBrel's picture

This is great - the German banks have mostly recovered from slipping on the "Fettnäpfchen" that was the toxic CDOs and MBSs from the USBanksters (formerly highly rated by the formerly highly rated rating agencies), and now:

the US wants to shock their (former) ally's financial heartbeat because of a failure to salute the US regs on international finance - i.e. dealing with folks formerly known as naughty. Not to mention that at the same time the US is supporting only the nice but not naughty yahoos in MENA, causing endless consternation and handwringing in .DE, and not to mention all the Spy vs Merkel drama.

Hey bring it on. It is all endlessly entertaining. Where is Marc Rich when you need him. Oh yeah, he died...

nyuszika45's picture

Sometimes some of us are really thick. Between all the daily squabbles and "gotta do now" hurry-ups, we fail to think of the absurdity of some of the events going on. Who the heck is the US that they can assess such penalties against foreign banks doing business as they please, a trait very common to the US and its banks I would note? Further, what kind of chains (I know, but still) does the US have on these people to hold them to a decree of the US? It is like the silliness of the FATCA penalties... if everyone were, no not everyone but most were to say "bugger off" and take your penalties with you, there would be nothing done for the bully is toothless. The US cannot afford to have everyone turn their backs on them so, they would back down as all bullies do when confronts by forces larger than they.

Is all the leadership of Europe in the midst of a personal sex change so that they'd all back down to this bully?

theyjustcantstop's picture

it astounds me how many people, ( understandably ) blame, and are outraged at o'bama actions, ( or non actions ), and of his adminisration, and have had over 6 yrs to come to the realization he was picked, and place as americas leader, for being anti-american.

the fed., and the few that sit around the bildenburg table, ( the same ones responsible for the eu ), have placed o'bama in power to set in motion the americas,( s., n.america, and canada.

the fed. will sooner than later have the majority control of the money in the world, the people around the table, it's their job to make the 3 or so billion extra people they proclaim the world has in it.

as were seing money can buy the disappearing of many, many of those extra billions of humans, when applied at the right time, in the right place. 


lakecity55's picture

"Honey, what bank are you going to punish today?"
"I don't know just yet, Reggie, but these Germans do not look gay-friendly."

JohninMK's picture

So how did they set the size of the fine? Maybe it went like this

"Say guys how much do we import from France every month?"

"About $4billion boss"

"How about we get a couple of months for free?"

"Brilliant, $8billion it is then"

TheReplacement's picture

This looks like more evidence of my theory that there are multiple factions vying for primacy.  It would appear the western (US) banksters are using the US gov't to inflict pain on rival crime families (Euro Banksters).  The opposite perspective could be that those who have effectively taken over the US gov't by the quiet coup of electronic elections and FSA bribery are using the banksters to accomplish the diminishment and isolation of the USA.


Al Tinfoil's picture

Germany has been setting up banking arrangements with Russia and China to trade in Rubles and Yuan (who needs the US dollar anymore?).  German businesses have been warning Merkel not to sanction Russia, since Russia is one of their biggest customers and German businesses have huge investments and high hopes for more in Russia.  Germany recently tapered its demand for return of its gold, effectively writing it off as unrecoverable.  Merkel is reported to have told the EU to give lip service to US demands to act hostile to Russia, but to avoid any real action.  

  When President Xi of China made his royal tour of Europe recently, the European government leaders were falling all over themselves to ingratiate themselves with China and sign up trade and banking agreements.    

  At the same time, the collapsing demand in austerity-plagued Europe and the failing US is cutting into German exports.  Germany is already shifting its focus to Eurasia, the US is trying to grab as much as it can before Germany is gone.  


Germany & France & Switzerland should ALL just tell the USA to go & FUCK themselves!

Cowtowing to the Worlds biggest Bully is the Worst thing to Do.  They should bite the bullet & be prepared to take some pain  - - AND then give it back in spades! 

Confiscate ALL USA holdings & assets to match whatever is taken by USA. Stick it up them !  GO GO !