Article Image

IPFS News Link • Sanctions

So Many Holes In SWIFT Sanctions On Russia, They Are Useless

• by Mike Shedlock

SWIFT is the international payment system. Cutting off a top country from SWIFT access is a very big deal.

When the US and EU trotted out the SWIFT sanction card, I thought I got that one wrong. Closer inspection by Eurointelligence and others shows it's Not So Swift After All.

FAZ informs us that the Swift sanctions are essentially dead in the water. Only seven banks, representing a quarter of the Russian banking sector, are subject to the sanctions. What happened is that once this sanctions list went through the mill of talks with member states, only this pared-down lists survives. The EU originally promised to hit 70% of the Russian banking system. One reason for the exclusion of Sberbank is the deposits held by savers in the bank's EU subsidiaries. It would have triggered massive deposit insurance claims.

The reduced ambitions embed an important piece of hard information. It is telling us that EU member states will not be ready to impose transactional sanctions on Russia in areas deemed vital to the EU economy, especially the import of Russian gas, oil and coal. What this will also tell us is that we have no means to crush the Russian economy, as Bruno Le Maire suggested. Vladimir Putin has run into big problems with his military campaign. But he will be able to finance the war.