Tuesday, December 18, 2012

HSBC Is A Criminal Enterprise Protected From Prosecution by Government

This article (via Manan Shukla) is very critical of the decisions by governments in the US and the UK not to prosecute HSBC on criminal charges for money laundering.  HSBC acquired one of the worst mortgage originators that engaged in predatory, and fraudulent mortgage origination's, while it was aiding and abetting drug cartels by placing their cash receipts into the banking system. This was done with the consent of the top management.  Bank regulators chose not to prevent their criminal behavior, and the US Justice Department chose not to proceed with criminal charges for money laundering and violations of US law.  The government defended their action on the grounds that HSBC was too big to prosecute because it would destabilize the fragile banking system. The person in charge of criminal prosecutions for white collar crime in the Justice department even coached bank executives on how to avoid criminal prosecution by taking the position that it would cause the lose of jobs.

One of the major objections to the government's decision is that it encourages other large banks to engage in unethical and criminal behavior.  That gives the large banks a competitive advantage over smaller banks that operate ethically and legally. Governments in the US and the UK were also competing for dominance in  international banking.  They used weak regulation of the banking system as a strategy to help Wall Street and the City Of London to win the race to the bottom. This also corrupts the free market system.  Crony capitalism, and the spread of unethical behavior in large corporations is the outcome. It also makes a joke out the war on drugs in the US.  The drug cartels could not have operated with help from banks like HSBC.

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