HSBC Gets A Slap On The Wrist

This story is interesting.  HSBC was caught laundering money for drug cartels.  The settled for a fine, a slap on the wrist.  None of the executives involved will face criminal charges.

Breuer this week signed off on a settlement deal with the British banking giant HSBC that is the ultimate insult to every ordinary person who’s ever had his life altered by a narcotics charge. Despite the fact that HSBC admitted to laundering billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels (among others) and violating a host of important banking laws (from the Bank Secrecy Act to the Trading With the Enemy Act), Breuer and his Justice Department elected not to pursue criminal prosecutions of the bank, opting instead for a “record” financial settlement of $1.9 billion, which as one analyst noted is about five weeks of income for the bank.

One joke is “HSBC is ‘too big to prosecute’.”  Seriously?  If you steal enough, you get immunity, because the economy collapse if your theft stopped.

The argument is “It’s a complicated case.  HSBC and their executives will spend millions on lawyers, and we may not win.  It’s better to prosecute someone who can’t afford to defend themselves, than to prosecute insiders.

A clueless person might say “Wow!  $1.9B is a lot of money!”  That is true for an individual, but not for a big bank.  As the above quote says, the fine is 5 weeks of income.  That’s like getting sentenced to 5 weeks in jail for stealing billions of dollars.

There is one other point.  Selling certain “drugs” should not be a crime, and hiding your assets from the State should not be a crime.  These money laundering laws aren’t valid laws.  However, it becomes a flagrant farce when insiders get away with breaking laws, while non-insiders get stiff prison terms for breaking those same “laws”.

There are two “justice” systems, one for insiders and one for everyone else.  This is clear example of insiders and their “get out of jail free” card.

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