¿Por qué se opta por sancionar así a BNP Paribas?

CAMBRIDGE – Para los europeos con los que hablo, la multa de $8,9 mil millones  impuesta a la empresa francesa de servicios financieros BNP Paribas por violar las sanciones estadounidenses en contra de Cuba, Irán y Sudán es excesiva. Si, BNP hizo algo que está verdaderamente muy mal. Sin embargo, ¿$8,9 mil millones? ¿No es esta una multa muy desproporcionada para un banco que, aparte de esta situación específica, es altamente responsable? El presidente francés, François Hollande, pidió al presidente de EE.UU. Barack Obama que intervenga para que la multa sea reducida, como ya lo hizo el Comisionado del Mercado Interno y Servicios de la Unión Europea, Michel Barnier.

La multa es, ciertamente, mucho más alta que las que se impusieron anteriormente. Las fuertes multas por infracciones en el comercio de divisas no son una novedad (HSBC, por ejemplo, fue golpeado con una multa de $1.9 mil millones); sin embargo, una multa de casi $10 mil millones de dólares sí lo es.

Existen tres factores que aparentemente explican el tamaño de la multa; no obstante, no todos ellos se ponen en tapete de discusión. En primer lugar, la infracción del BNP fue parte de un patrón de comportamiento repetido y deliberado. En segundo lugar, el acuerdo extrajudicial surgió en un momento en que las autoridades estadounidenses se enfrentaban a fuertes críticas por ser blandas con los grandes bancos durante y después de la crisis financiera del año 2008. Por último, y de manera más especulativa, los esfuerzos que realiza Estados Unidos por convertir a la financiación en un instrumento más eficaz de política exterior podrían haber afectado la manera en la este país lidió con BNP.

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