World View: Outrage Grows U.S. Did Not Jail Anyone at HSBC Bank

World View: Outrage Grows U.S. Did Not Jail Anyone at HSBC Bank

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Outrage grows that U.S. did not jail anyone at HSBC bank for money laundering
  • President Obama gives tear-filled statement about Newtown school shooting
  • U.S. will send 400 troops with Patriot systems to Turkey-Syria border
  • Russia supplies Syria with supersonic Iskander missiles to counter Patriots

Outrage grows that U.S. did not jail anyone at HSBC bank for money laundering

HSBC - The World's Laundry Bank (ZeroHedge)
HSBC – The World’s Laundry Bank (ZeroHedge)

HSBC, a bank headquartered in Britain, with huge presence in theUnited States, settled with the Department of Justice on Thursday overmoney-laundering charges that supported a breathtaking array ofinternational criminal and terrorist activity — including drugcartels in Mexico and Colombia and illegal financial transactions forterrorists in Iran, Sudan, Myanmar and Libya. HSBC violated the BankSecrecy Act and the Trading with the Enemy Act, involving hundreds ofthousands of transactions that laundered billions of dollars.According to the DOJ statement:

“HSBC is being held accountable for stunning failuresof oversight – and worse – that led the bank to permit narcoticstraffickers and others to launder hundreds of millions of dollarsthrough HSBC subsidiaries, and to facilitate hundreds of millionsmore in transactions with sanctioned countries. The record ofdysfunction that prevailed at HSBC for many years wasastonishing.”

HSBC was essentially the central banker for the criminal world,laundering huge flows of money supporting criminal activities andterrorism around the world. But as we know, the Obama administrationDepartment of Justice under Eric Holder adamantly refuses to prosecuteany banker, no matter how big or obvious the crime, because bankersmake such huge financial contributions to their campaigns. In thiscase, HSBC was given a slap on the wrist — a fine representing abouta week’s worth of profits. No one is going to jail.

What excuse is the DOJ giving for not sending anyone to jail?According to several reports, the DOJ is saying that sending someonefrom HSBC to jail would destabilize the entire banking system. Theonly thing it would destabilize is political contributions to thepoliticians.

Financial writer Mike Taibbi is furious:

“It doesn’t take a genius to see that the reasoninghere is beyond flawed. When you decide not to prosecute bankersfor billion-dollar crimes connected to drug-dealing and terrorism(some of HSBC’s Saudi and Bangladeshi clients had terrorist ties,according to a Senate investigation), it doesn’t protect thebanking system, it does exactly the opposite. It terrifiesinvestors and depositors everywhere, leaving them with the clearimpression that even the most “reputable” banks may in fact becaptured institutions whose senior executives are in the employ of(this can’t be repeated often enough) murderers andterrorists. Even more shocking, the Justice Department’s responseto learning about all of this was to do exactly the same thingthat the HSBC executives did in the first place to get themselvesin trouble – they took money to look the other way.

And not only did they sell out to drug dealers, they sold outcheap. You’ll hear bragging this week by the Obama administrationthat they wrested a record penalty from HSBC, but it’s ajoke.”

As I’ve pointed out a number of times, we’re seeing a repeat of 1930sGermany, where respectable people were gangsters, and gangsters weretreated as respectable people.

As usual, many Gen-Xers as usual are supporting the DOJ decision not tosend anyone from HSBC to jail. Here’s possibly the sleaziest defense ofall from one of the sleaziest Gen-X economists, Felix Salmon:

“[I]t’s important to put HSBC’s crimes in context. TheUnited States, in its role as global hegemon and guardian of theworld’s only real reserve currency, has unapologetically taken theopportunity to use its economic power to push its geopoliticalagenda. For instance, if you’re an Iranian business and you wantto do business in dollars, the US is determined to make your lifeas difficult as possible. The US might have no jurisdiction overIranian businesses, but it does have jurisdiction over nearly allthe important banks in the world, since it’s impossible to be aglobal bank without having some kind of presence in the US. And –as Argentina is finding out right now in its court case againstElliott Associates — if you want to send dollars around the world,you basically have to send them through the USA.

To put it another way, the laws that HSBC broke were laws designedto bolster the international standing of the US relative to Iranand other countries: they were geopolitically motivated, and theintended target was not the international banking system, withwhich the State Department has no particular beef, but rathercountries the State Department doesn’t like.”

This is probably the epitome of the most sickening Gen-X stupidity.But what I found interesting is that there are dozens of commentsfollowing Salmon’s article, and almost every one is contemptuous ofSalmon. Here a sample:

“What a piece of krap.

The Government could have prosecuted individuals withoutdestroying HSBC as an Institution.

When you launder money for terrorists and murderers and drugcartels, you should be out of business. Your executives should beprosecuted.

Were you paid by HSBC to write this article?”

There were so many comments like this, that Salmon had to add anprosecute executives. The problem with this feeble attempt to savehis reputation is that his reasoning about the U.S. being an evilglobal hegemon picking on poor little Iran applies to the executivesas well. What a pathetic piece of work!

But I’m actually taking heart from all this. You have dozens ofcomments expressing the highest contempt for Salmon and his article.Many of these commenters, possibly most, are Gen-Xers themselves, andI take this as a hopeful sign that Gen-Xers are finally beginning torealize that the moral values and ethics promoted by the World War IIsurvivor generations weren’t so full of shit after all. It appearsthat the Gen-Xers are finally learning some hard lessons. Maybe, justmaybe, there’s hope for Generation-X after all. U.S. Department of Justice and Mike Taibbi (Rolling Stone) and Felix Salmon (Reuters)

President Obama gives tear-filled statement about Newtown school shooting

President Obama, who through his silence condones, supports andencourages violence by union thugs, on Friday gave a tear-filledstatement saying that violence in schools has to end, “regardless ofpolitics.” CBS NY

U.S. will send 400 troops with Patriot systems to Turkey-Syria border

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta paid a surprise visit to UStroops at Nato’s Incirlik Air Base in Adana, Turkey, and authorizedthe dispatch of two Patriot anti-missile system batteries to Turkey,to be deployed on Turkey’s border with Syria. In addition, 400 U.S.soldiers will be sent to Turkey’s border with Syria to operate thePatriot systems. Germany and the Netherlands have also authorizedtheir own Patriot systems to be deployed to Turkey, with supportingtroops. The U.S. now has ground troops in Jordan and Turkey onSyria’s border, as well as an aircraft carrier fleet in theMediterranean near Syria’s coast. Zaman (Istanbul)

Russia supplies Syria with supersonic Iskander missiles to counter Patriots

Russia has sent to Syria a shipment of Iskander ground to groundmissiles, which travel at hypersonic speed of over 1.3 miles persecond (Mach 6-7), and which can’t be traced or destroyed by thePatriot system. This is considered a “game changer,” and is forcing are-evaluation of the entire American and Nato strategy toward Syriaand the Mideast. Pravda (Moscow) and Debka

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