Until we see the details of the case, it is impossible to judge whether a $10bn (£6bn) fine for BNP Paribas would be unreasonable, as Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, contends.
But on the face of it, he may have a point. It would not be a surprise if US authorities, stung by criticism of their soft treatment of banks' misdemeanours, have decided a French bank, as opposed to a Wall Street one, is an easy target.
Standard Chartered, which has never lost an air of grievance at having to pay $670m in 2012 to settle allegations of sanction-busting, should count its blessings. It may have got a bargain.
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