The largest bank in France, BNP Paribas, was just hit with a $9 billion fine and a penalty of not being able to transact in U.S. dollars for one year. This action was taken by American regulators after the bank was found conducting business with countries where the United States had imposed sanctions for political reasons.
The fine is extremely large and reflects the Obama administration’s anger at France for flagrantly violating American wishes regarding sanctioned countries; BNP admitted guilt in the settlement. However, the French are angry as well. They are unhappy at being under the thumb of American regulators due to their exposure to global transactions in USD.
This entire episode will hasten the decline of the USD as a reserve currency and trading vehicle as nations such as France move away from the dollar to avoid similar incidents in the future.
The French are not known for their adherence to the American view of human rights and the moralistic ideals the U.S. has fostered upon the world over the last fifty or more years. Even after the Americans pulled the French proverbial rear out of the fire twice with the Germans in two world wars, the French were quick to attack the USD in the late twentieth century when the greenback lost much of its value.
The French have also continued to build warships for Russia during a time when most of Europe is attempting to blunt a newly emergent imperial Russian nationalism. President Vladimir Putin suggested that the U.S. was attempting to blackmail France with the large fine to prevent delivery of the Mistrial warships to the Russian Federation.
However, even though they were pulled kicking and screaming into the alliance, the French are members of NATO and a financial pillar of the European Union. These are supposed to be American allies, countries America can count on. That is why it is so striking that the French Finance Minister, in early July, called for a ‘rebalancing’ of currencies used in world trade–and a lessening of the importance of the USD in international finance.
This is a shot across the bow of the U.S. by a close ally and is in concert with efforts by Russia and the other BRIC countries to reduce their dependence on the American currency. This will lead to a loss of financial power by the United States and, over time, will harm the American economy.
It isn’t just France that the U.S. has been targeting. In a recent article on its website, precious metals company Birch Gold Group notes that many other foreign entities are in our government’s crosshairs: “Lately, the U.S. has been forcing everyone else to play by its rules. In May, the U.S. fined Credit Suisse $2.6 billion for not enforcing our tax laws. Then came the implementation of FATCA on July 1. So the United States wants the international banking community to act not only as its spies, but as its tax enforcement as well.”
The United States needs to understand that other sovereign countries don’t like to have their behavior dictated to them by the lone superpower in the room, even if they are allies and rely on American defense protection.
This conflict among friends highlights a broad shift in global finance and geopolitical realities. America is becoming weaker by the day financially as we spend money we don’t have and print money as fast as we can like a third world banana republic. This behavior will have consequences.
We are seeing these effects as the world shifts away from USD hegemony. Countries want to hold their assets in a currency that will hold its value. That is not happening with the USD. The Chinese Yuan is rapidly emerging as a counter reserve currency and trading vehicle.
This shift is only hastened and reinforced by American heavy-handed actions in dictating terms to others that trade in dollars. Birch Gold eloquently summed up the problem, stating, “The United States is bullying itself right out of reserve currency status. And for what? As some façade of a moral crusade against the nations we have under embargo?
Just as with FATCA, the U.S. is snooping where it has no right to snoop. But the more we do this, the more we bully others, the sooner other nations will find a way around the bully. And then where will that leave the U.S.? Where will that leave the dollar? Where will that leave any of us?”
The bottom line is that investors need to make sure their portfolios are hedged against a long-term decline in the value of the American dollar and the loss of the bid the currency has enjoyed since the Bretton Woods agreement at the end of World War II. The world is changing, and these paradigm shifts will have real negative effects on the U.S. economy and American wealth. Our lack of fiscal responsibility is only hastening this reality.
In the face of the dollar’s ongoing decline, as more and more nations align against our currency, Birch Gold Group has helped thousands of Americans move their savings out of the dollar and into physical precious metals. To learn how you can do the same, request a free information guide from Birch Gold Group today – there is zero cost and zero obligation. Simply enter your details at www.birchgold.com
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom