Beware of the grey

Barclays' fines, the GlaxoSmithKline settlement with the US government, and now Bafin’s investigation into Deutsche Bank prove governments are mining the lucrative grey areas of the law to find wrongdoing.

Beware of the grey
A spoof Barclays ad that went viral in the wake of Liborgate

The US government has long known that one way out of an economic downturn is to mine the “grey areas” of the law to reap rewards. Practices that have traditionally been loosely interpreted suddenly are strictly interpreted, and fines imposed.

That was the basis for voluntary disclosure in taxing mostly overseas residents. The message went out dot every i, cross every t, or we’ll fine you. On a corporate level, the US showed its hand...

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