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.
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A spoof Barclays ad that went viral in the wake of Liborgate
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<div style="text-align: left;"> A spoof Barclays ad that went viral in the wake of Liborgate </div>

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 when it tightened its interpretation of the pharmaceutical industry’s practice of off-label marketing of drugs in late 2011, which resulted in a $3 billion settlement payout on July 2 by GlaxoSmithKline. And now...

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