Friday, December 27, 2013


(via digby) Matt Taibbi on the outrageous settlement the US DOJ made with the HSBC bank.
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), {Assistant Attorney General & Clintonista} 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.

The banks' laundering transactions were so brazen that the NSA probably could have spotted them from space. Breuer admitted that drug dealers would sometimes come to HSBC's Mexican branches and "deposit hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, in a single day, into a single account, using boxes designed to fit the precise dimensions of the teller windows."
"...and justice for all" applies only to the suckers who actually recite the pledge of allegiance. Corporations are persons who don't recite the pledge of allegiance, whose money talks, and who are scoff-laws.

On a more serious note, the Clintons are as pro-Corporation as any Republican - somehow the Democratic Party has to come up with a more progressive candidate for the Presidency in 2016.   The only condition in which I vote for Hilary Clinton is if the alternative is seriously worse.
So you might ask, what's the appropriate financial penalty for a bank in HSBC's position? Exactly how much money should one extract from a firm that has been shamelessly profiting from business with criminals for years and years? Remember, we're talking about a company that has admitted to a smorgasbord of serious banking crimes. If you're the prosecutor, you've got this bank by the balls. So how much money should you take?

How about all of it? How about every last dollar the bank has made since it started its illegal activity? How about you dive into every bank account of every single executive involved in this mess and take every last bonus dollar they've ever earned? Then take their houses, their cars, the paintings they bought at Sotheby's auctions, the clothes in their closets, the loose change in the jars on their kitchen counters, every last freaking thing. Take it all and don't think twice. And then throw them in jail.

Sound harsh? It does, doesn't it? The only problem is, that's exactly what the government does just about every day to ordinary people involved in ordinary drug cases.
Seriously, don' t try selling to me the idea that third world countries are more corrupt than the US.   US Attorney Preet Bharara's statement below sounds just like so much propaganda:
Finally, this Office’s sole motivation in this case, as in all cases, is to uphold the rule of law, protect victims, and hold accountable anyone who breaks the law – no matter what their societal status and no matter how powerful, rich or connected they are.
The only time the powerful, rich and connected are taken down is when they offend the even more powerful, rich and connected.