You’ll end up dead in a drone strike or indefinitely detained in Gitmo. But, if you’re a big Wall Street bank and you finance terrorist activities, then guess what? You get a slap on the wrist fine and then…well…that’s it. This week – HSBC settled to pay $1.92 billion in criminal fines, for laundering money on behalf of Mexican drug cartels, and working with banks in the Middle East that are closely affiliated with terrorist organizations. The Chairman of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Senator Carl Levin, described HSBC’s culture as “pervasively polluted for a long time.”
So why aren’t any executives going to Gitmo? And why hasn't the bank become a pile of smoldering rubble from a drone strike? Because HSBC is too big to fail, and to quote one government source close to the investigation, bringing formal charges against HSBC would be a “death sentence” for the bank and the rest of the financial system. Given Wall Street’s rap sheet of crashing the economy, defrauding investors and homeowners, stealing trillions from taxpayers, ripping off markets by manipulating interest rates, and now assisting drug cartels and terrorist organizations – I’d say a corporate death sentence is long overdue for these bankster institutions.
Maybe with Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren nabbing a spot on the Senate Banking Committee, we’ll finally see some action.
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