Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Cost of Doing Business

Baudoin Prot: CEO BNP Paribas. Financier of the Year 2006, Recipient of the 'Social and Corporate Responsibility' Award of the Foreign Policy Association,  2007.

I like to see two sides to every story, but I have never really been particularly enamored of Western institutions aiding and abetting genocide. Recent examples of this include government support of East Timor, Guatemala, Kurdish Iraq and elsewhere, but the very latest in the news concerns the French bank BNP Paribas. According to the UN, between 2003 and 2007 the genocide in Darfur resulted in at least 200,000 deaths, principally civilians massacred by Sudanese government forces and the Janjaweed militia they supported.  The US had countering sanctions in place,  but these were flouted by  BNP Paribas for whom the lure of oil money was just too great. BNP  became the 'de facto Bank of Sudan', playing a 'pivotal role' in helping the Sudanese government sell oil in violation of the sanctions, funneling billions of dollars to the government, most of which bankrolled the military thugs. BNP covered it up for years. Eventually found guilty, the bank settled with the US for  $9bn a few days ago. BNP states it has ample funding to cover this. It's not going to perturb them too much. No individual has been charged. They will sleep soundly at night. As Forbes magazine states, banks  call this merely "the cost of doing business".

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