Source: Sovereign Man, by Simon Black
That was fast.
Yesterday I told you how a consortium of 15 Japanese banks had just signed up to implement new financial technology to clear and settle international financial transactions.
This is a huge step.
Right now, most international financial transactions must pass through the US banking system’s network of correspondent accounts.
This gives the US government an incredible amount of power… power they haven’t been shy about using over the last several years.
2014 was one of the first major watershed moments when the Obama administration fined French bank BNP Paribas $9 billion for doing business with countries that the US doesn’t like– namely Cuba and Iran.
It didn’t matter that this French bank wasn’t violating any French laws.
Nor did it matter that only months later the President of the United States inked a sweetheart nuclear deal with Iran and flew down to Cuba to attend a baseball game with his new BFFs.
BNP had to pay up. A French bank paid $9 billion because they violated US law.
And if they didn’t pay, the US government threatened to kick them out of the US banking system.
$9 billion hurt. But being kicked out of the US banking system would have been totally crippling.
Big international banks in particular cannot function if they don’t have access to the US banking system.
As long as the US dollar remains the world’s dominant reserve currency, major banks must able to clear and settle US dollar transactions if they expect to remain in business.
This means having access to the US banking system… the gatekeeper of the US dollar.
But having watched BNP Paribas get blackmailed into paying an absurd $9 billion fine to the US government, the rest of the world’s mega-banks knew instantly that their heads could be next ones on the chopping block.
So they started working on contingency plans.