So, continuing with the "welcome to a new era" thread from the old board, I thought we could pick it up again.
Anyone following the HSBC story? You can google it yourself if you've not seen it but here are the highlights:
HSBC has laundered billions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels, middle eastern terrorist groups and countries like Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Libya and Burma. In Mexico, the behavior was so outrageous that the cartels were going into the banks with cash in specially made boxes that fit the teller window and could be slipped right into the cages. Remember the scene in Scarface where the gang brings in duffle bags filled with cash into the bank? Well, this was even worse, and more obvious.
So, the other day an assistant US attorney for NY went public and announced that there would be NO criminal prosecutions for HSBC because they feared that putting important banking executives in jail for bank fraud would undermine the global banking system. Seriously. That is the reason.
Instead, they hit them with a "record" fine of $1.92B. Another way of looking at that "record" fine is it is a mere FOUR WEEKS of earnings for HSBC. But wait, it gets better. Per the press release:
As a result of the government's investigation, HSBC has . . . "clawed back" deferred compensation bonuses given to some of its most senior U.S. anti-money laundering and compliance officers, and agreed to partially defer bonus compensation for its most senior officials during the five-year period of the deferred prosecution agreement. (bold emphasis mine).
Seriously, that's the penalty. They launder billions of dollars for a decade and as a punishment they give up a month of earnings and have their bonuses "partially deferred" for 5 years. Wow. I'm sure all the other banks are now thinking "we better straighten up and make sure we don't do anything like this or we will only be multi-millionaires instead of billionaires".
The is the most egregious, outrageous thing I've ever heard of. The US government has just abdicated its role as a government. Unless, of course, you are some poor schmuck arrested on a drug possession charge. Then watch them get the machinery of the criminal justice system cranking.
hey appoo -- tell me again how too big to fail was all fixed when we have a bank who is, supposedly (and I think this is pure BS) too big to prosecute for blatant criminal activity.
What a total joke this is.