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TheStreet Open House

The 5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week: Aug. 10

Stocks in this article: BBY AMZN PFE JNJ DUK HPQ IBM

5. Standard Chartered's Devils in the Details

The great Italian poet Dante Alighieri probably has a ring in his Inferno for the evildoers at Standard Chartered.

And one right next to it for their consultants at Deloitte & Touche.

A batch of rogue bankers at Standard Chartered were accused of violating U.S. anti-money-laundering laws Monday. The alleged scoundrels were said to have pocketed millions in fees by teaming up with Iran's government to hide more than $250 billion in transactions from 2001 to 2010, according to Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York's Department of Financial Services. As a result of its dastardly behavior, the British banking behemoth may lose its license to operate in New York state.

Standard Chartered's actions "left the U.S. financial system vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes, and deprived law enforcement investigators of crucial information used to track all manner of criminal activity," Lawsky said.

He enforces the law and his name is Lawsky. We know. It's awesome.

Far less awesome, however, was the reply by a senior Standard Chartered official in London who was told by a colleague that the bank's Iran shenanigans could cause "catastrophic reputational damage."

"You f---ing Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we're not going to deal with Iranians," responded this twit of a Brit.

He could have said: "Sanctions? We don't need no stinking sanctions!" At least we would have gotten a chuckle if that was his retort.

But, no, he had to insult America, showing not a smidgen of respect for his cousins across the pond.

Then again, if there is a so-called special relationship involved in this sorry episode, it can be found between the London-based bank and its consigliere, Deloitte & Touche, which helped Standard Chartered hide the devilish details from regulators.

Yes, as Standard Chartered did its demonic deeds, there was Deloitte & Touche at its elbow, steadfastly working at their satanic majesties request.

All we can say is, get ready, guys. For all your troubles, you will soon have hell to pay.

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