For example, foreign banks who did not comply with US sanctions, irrespective of what they privately thought of them or the diplomatic stance of their home countries, faced massive fines. They could, in theory, refuse to pay these fines. But they risked being locked out of the dollar-clearing market, which, given that the greenback is the world’s reserve currency, effectively means being locked out of the global financial system. Not so much a carrot-and-stick approach; more like stick-and-stick.
So far, so fair enough maybe: after 9/11 the US government was fighting a war against terror, after all. But officials began to realise that these same techniques could be used to more prosaic ends – like, for example, forcing foreign banks around the world to reveal which of their clients were American citizens with more than $50,000 in investments (under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) and to control the behaviour of the banks themselves.
Bully-boy tactics or condign punishment? Last year, the US Department of Justice fined General Motors $900m for hiding an ignition switch defect that resulted in at least 174 deaths. Now it proposes to fine Deutsche Bank $14bn for mis-selling mortgage-backed bonds. It doesn't take a moral philosopher to see that something is out of whack here.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/201 ... asury-war/