Global Analysis from the European Perspective. Preparing for the world of tomorrow




Apple Ruling is a Retaliation for US Unjustified Fines on EU Banks

Apple’s $14 billion EU tax fine, and the suspension of the TTIP negotiations cannot come as a surprise; they are a clear retaliation for the totally unjustified penalties the US authorities imposed on European banks during the period between 2009 and 2014.

These fines were based on a change in U.S. regulations made in the second half of the 2010’s, i.e. that all operations done in dollars need to conform to American regulations. As the Dollar happens to be the world’s reserve currency, the US unilaterally expanded its jurisdiction on all other nations. The U.S. has the power to subjugate their partners to their authority and hand over some of their sovereignty to the ruling elites in Washington. BNP Paribas was forced to pay $8.9 billion to Washington regulators. The extraordinary high penalty on the French bank was for all intents and purposes a humiliation of France.

January 2009 Lioyds TSB Bank 350
December 2009 Lioyds TSB Bank 217
December 2009 Credit Suisse 536
May 2010 Royal Bank of Scotland 500
August 2010 Barclays 298
June 2012 ING 619
September 2012 Standard Charter 340
December 2012 Standard Charter 327
December 2012 HSBC 1300
December 2013 RBS 100
January 2014 Clearstream 152
June 2014 BNP Paribas 8900
Total 13639

Fines in million dollars European were forced to pay to US authorities

In due process, injustice was done to countries like Cuba, and European corporations lost business opportunities and income as they were forced to close their foreign branches.

In 2014 Havana Times wrote: The Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP Paribas), France’s largest banking institution, has closed its branch in Havana following an investigation undertaken by US authorities prompted by alleged transactions in violation of the commercial bans on Cuba, Iran and Sudan.”1)Cuba Loses Two Important International Bank Branches Sources Havana Times 2014-02-25

While European Banks plead guilty to limiting the damage, the French political establishment issued some stern warnings. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius warned: “Meanwhile, we are in the process of discussing a trans-Atlantic partnership with the United States. This trade partnership can be established only on a basis of reciprocity. But here, we would have the example of an unjust and unilateral decision. (…) One cannot consider that reciprocity must be the rule if, at the same time, there is a decision like this,” said Fabius.2)France warns that fine could damage trans-Atlantic trade talks Source I24News 2014

Christian Noyer, Governor of the Bank of France, stated clearly: “We have verified that all of the transactions at issue complied with the rules, laws and regulations at both the European and French levels.” There has been “no contravention” by BNP Paribas “of these rules nor, indeed, of the rules established by the United Nations.”3)The United States, BNP Paribas and French Sovereignty Source The HuffingtonPost 2014-9-6 It is highly unusual for a Governor of the European Central Bank to meddle in juridical and international affairs; it shows the mood of the Paris elite.

It is of no surprise that the Europeans and especially the French found an opportunity to hit back. This week’s fine on Apple is a slap in the face of the US hegemony. To the average reader the 14-billion-dollar-fine seems an arbitrary amount; to the US financial authorities it is a clear reminder of the 14 billion dollar penalty they impose on the European banks. According to our estimation, European banks paid Washington 14 billion dollars, the same amount that Apple has to pay the European authorities.

The US authorities start to understand that they provoked a financial turf war between Europe and the US, a war that just has to begin as Reuters wrote: “The U.S. Treasury sought to keep the pressure on the European Union to rescind a ruling that Apple Inc pay up to $14.5 billion in back taxes, a move Washington says breaches international tax rules and sets the stage for more actions against U.S. companies.” 4)U.S. Treasury says EU’s Apple tax ruling aimed at U.S. companies Source Reuters 2014-08-31

The game is on.

 

 

References   [ + ]

1. Cuba Loses Two Important International Bank Branches Sources Havana Times 2014-02-25
2. France warns that fine could damage trans-Atlantic trade talks Source I24News 2014
3. The United States, BNP Paribas and French Sovereignty Source The HuffingtonPost 2014-9-6
4. U.S. Treasury says EU’s Apple tax ruling aimed at U.S. companies Source Reuters 2014-08-31

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