» Why did they settle? Well, to put it simply, it was starting to turn into a PR crisis. While they disagreed with the state of New York’s portrayal of the situation, the regulatory body had some pretty decent ammo against the bank, including an exec saying this: ”You (expletive) Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we’re not going to deal with Iranians.” (There are U.S. sanctions on Iran.) The bank will take corrective measures to prevent this from happening again. (EDIT: As the WSJ’s Samuel Rubenfeld points out below, the deal does not preclude a settlement from federal regulatory bodies. That’ll happen separately.)
» A possible crime vs. a questionable statement: Some have strongly criticized the audio, which paints Zimmerman as possibly making a joke about something which some might find offensive. (Here’s one example.) But, while troubling, the real issue to keep an eye on here is the possible money laundering. There is evidence (in the form of bank records) that Zimmerman and his wife tried to transfer the money at totals below $10,000 in an effort to avoid scrutiny of the money his Web site raised. A possibly tasteless joke? Definitely not great on top of everything else this case has thrust forward. But, of what’s been presented today, it’ll be those financial transactions which will have a real impact in the weeks and months ahead. Keep an eye out.
You cannot wipe the grin off my face with a stick of dynamite. I think it’s important that he has to face the consequences of his actions.Blogger Susan DuQuesnay Bankston of Richmond, Texas • Exclaiming her utter joy about Tom DeLay’s conviction for money laundering yesterday. DeLay, who left Congress under a firestorm of controversy in 2005, was convicted of illegally channeling $190,000 to GOP candidates in Texas with a money swap. The money helped lead to a Texas legislature that was strongly GOP, which helped the former House Majority Leader push through a redistricting plan that was advantageous to DeLay politically. What a plan! source (via • follow)