This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

The 10 Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Summer

4. Standard Skates By -- (Originally published August 17, 2012)

Wow Standard Chartered. What a difference a week and $340 million makes.

Barely a week after the behemoth British bank got busted by New York Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky for allegedly doing $250 billion worth of illegal business with Iran, Standard Chartered settled the affair Tuesday by paying a fine and agreeing to install a monitor to prevent future money-laundering. The announcement came just in time for the London-based bank, as it was scheduled to defend itself against the allegations at a hearing the following day.

Um, excuse us for asking, but if Standard Chartered was indeed a "rogue institution" and broke U.S. sanctions laws, then why not hold the hearings first and then decide the penalty? Those are some pretty nasty charges, so let's hear Chief Executive Peter Sands give some specifics under oath instead of flat-out denials to the press.

From the smell of it, the Brits got their knickers in a twist and New York's Lawsky, probably feeling the heat from the U.S. Department of Justice, twisted Sands' arm for a settlement before the facts could come to light and seriously embarrass somebody -- including himself.

In other words, he pulled a Spitzer, except in this case Lawsky did it to save America's "special relationship" with Great Britain instead of Wall Street campaign contributions for a future political run. (By the way Ben, disgraced former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer is not the act you want to follow if you want to get ahead in the politics business. Don't just take it from us. Ask around.)

Anyway, the $340 million penalty may seem hefty, but Standard Chartered earned $17.6 billion in 2011, so it's the equivalent of a speeding ticket to these guys. And as we all know, the best way to stop somebody from speeding is to take away their license.

And on that note, all that talk about revoking Standard Charter's license to do business in New York was merely that. Once the Limeys started whining that U.S. regulators were treating their banks differently than American ones, Lawsky claimed victory and left the game he started.

To which we say, congratulations to our friends across the pond. With that wrist slap of a punishment, Standard Chartered is being treated exactly like its counterparts in America. So quit your complaining, mates.
7 of 10

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
C $44.65 -2.00%
CHK $5.67 -2.20%
GRPN $3.38 0.00%
JCP $9.04 -3.10%
JPM $61.56 -1.60%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,651.26 -99.65 -0.56%
S&P 500 2,051.12 -12.25 -0.59%
NASDAQ 4,725.6390 -37.5850 -0.79%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs