Gangster bankers: too big to jail

Matt Taibbi writes: 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.

For at least half a decade, the storied British colonial banking power helped to wash hundreds of millions of dollars for drug mobs, including Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, suspected in tens of thousands of murders just in the past 10 years – people so totally evil, jokes former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, that “they make the guys on Wall Street look good.” The bank also moved money for organizations linked to Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, and for Russian gangsters; helped countries like Iran, the Sudan and North Korea evade sanctions; and, in between helping murderers and terrorists and rogue states, aided countless common tax cheats in hiding their cash. [Continue reading…]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 thoughts on “Gangster bankers: too big to jail

  1. Norman

    Bringing to light, all these illegal acts of the T.B.T.F. gangsters has its merit, but what real good comes of it? The Justice department by its inaction, appears to be in collusion, in fact, the whole government is just as guilty because of its own inaction aside from some grandstanding. The corruption that’s brought to light with the crimes them selfs, mocks the very core of the country, making the U.S. out as perhaps the head of all criminal acts. The death toll from hands of the U.S. alone, war, drugs, poverty. And the beat goes on.

Comments are closed.