The State of New York accepted a $340 million payment from Standard Chartered bank to settle charges it laundered money for Iran.
This surprisingly big news has already been moved to “old news” in the financial press.
Here is why this is a big deal: first, the state of New York has almost a $1 billion budget shortfall this year. A big payment of $340 million will definitely help fill part of that gap.
Second, it goes to show how impossible it is to monitor every single transaction and track every last cent even from countries under economic sanctions from the United States.
Third, is shows that — at least for now — leadership at this bank can do something incredibly wrong and pay a fee, only to live another day. (I say at least for now because only the state of New York has settled. The FBI, SEC, Federal Reserve, and many other government agencies have not, so they aren’t out of the clear yet.)
I never thought a state could solve part of its budget problem by settling charges from people who have done something wrong. It’s brilliant (and also ticked off the other agencies that were likely still negotiating settlements of their own).