I”m posting this compelling story by Matt Taibbi in the Rolling Stone back on February 14th, because the story highlights and discloses all of the issues that we’ve been talking about for the last couple of years about how the banks due business. If you or I ever behaved this way, we would be hauled off in irons (and rightly so), but of course the banks just get away with it.
Talking about HSBC Jack Blum is quoted;
“They violated every goddamn law in the book,” says Jack Blum, an attorney and former Senate investigator who headed a major bribery investigation against Lockheed in the 1970s that led to the passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. “They took every imaginable form of illegal and illicit business.”
More from the article:
“The deal was announced quietly, just before the holidays, almost like the government was hoping people were too busy hanging stockings by the fireplace to notice. Flooring politicians, lawyers and investigators all over the world, the U.S. Justice Department granted a total walk to executives of the British-based bank HSBC for the largest drug-and-terrorism money-laundering case ever. Yes, they issued a fine – $1.9 billion, or about five weeks’ profit – but they didn’t extract so much as one dollar or one day in jail from any individual, despite a decade of stupefying abuses.
People may have outrage fatigue about Wall Street, and more stories about billionaire greedheads getting away with more stealing often cease to amaze. But the HSBC case went miles beyond the usual paper-pushing, keypad-punching sort-of crime, committed by geeks in ties, normally associated with Wall Street. In this case, the bank literally got away with murder – well, aiding and abetting it, anyway.”
An amazing read, and a great job by Matt Taibbi in staying on top of these stories!