HSBC: Too Big To Jail?

Neil Barofsky has a must-read piece in The New Republic: Too Big to Jail?

Some perspective: HSBC sent more than $800 million in bulk cash from Mexico to the United States, a good chunk of which apparently represented proceeds from some of the most notorious Colombian drug cartels. As someone who tried the first narcotics money laundering case involving extradition from Colombia, let me assure you that this is a lot of money, the discovery of which usually generates vigorous prosecutions and lengthy prison sentences. And it wasn’t HSBC’s only dirty business: There were also hundreds of millions of more dollars of illegally disguised transactions with rogue nations such as Iran and Sudan.

Why no criminal charges?

But read the whole thing.


Anyone who thinks both the Democratic and Republican parties in America are not in the pockets of the banking industry and Wall Street is fooling themselves.

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  • Dishman

    I believe the whole “Too Big to Fail” mentality is insane and stupid.

    “TBTF” really means “Big enough to buy enough politicians of both parties to pad its pockets”.

  • Scott

    Of course both parties are “in the pocket” of the banking industry and Wall Street But I prefer the Repubs because that is about the only two special interest groups that they are in the pocket of. And there’s is a loud and popular movement in the GOP(led by big wigs like Palin, the Koch brothers and Huckabee) for the R’s to reclaim the higher moral by hewing to Free Market principles and letting those companies/banks which fail to fail and letting those that succeed on their own reap more of the rewards (profits).

    The Dems, OTOH, are also in the pockets of Special Interests like: Unions, Environmental extremists, Trial Lawyers, Feminists, etc. So while the GOP might not care about me and my interests the Dems actively work against the common man/woman and their interests (including me).

  • How exactly does one put a bank in jail?

  • You put the people in charge of things there.

  • Unless they are a politician, or a political appointee, then they are untouchable.

  • Although come to think of it, the very question “how do you jail a bank?” points to why I take such a very dim view of the extremely liberal policies that allowed the mass proliferation of limited liability corporations and liberalized regulation of same to the detriment of entrepreneurs and family enterprise.

    The real conservative attitude would be to take a dim and suspicious view of these creatures of state policy, but we’ve somehow got everything turned around and act as if they are “the free market in action” and other such rubbish.