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"Too big to ...", Continuing the "new era" thread

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"Too big to ...", Continuing the "new era" thread

Postby Blue&White » Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:18 pm

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.
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Re: "Too big to ...", Continuing the "new era" thread

Postby psu_dad » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:07 pm

Anyone following the HSBC story?


Yes ... and when i learned that no one at HSBC would be doing the "perp walk" with their hands cuffed and their coats over the heads, I nearly soiled my pants.

I don't know why, but this reminded me of The Godfather (the novel, not the movie). Vito Corleone had no moral qualms about how he made a living because he was convinced he was no more corrupt than the Power Elite who used political influence to steal their money "legally". He had a point.
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Re: "Too big to ...", Continuing the "new era" thread

Postby Blue&White » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:04 am

How anyone in the Justice Department can stand there with a straight face and defend this farce is absolutely f*cking beyond me. For pure comedy, I'm waiting to see the Obama administration try to defend not forcing the break up of this bank and trying to claim it has not yet reached the threshold off "too big to fail", which they promised would never happen again.

This is really incredible. If I read this in a book or saw it in a movie, I would have thought it just too unrealistic to accept the premise. And yet, it just happened.
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Re: "Too big to ...", Continuing the "new era" thread

Postby gmay10 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:13 am

Sometimes I wish we could use vigilante justice. Lets give 25 people (by a lottery system that is rigged of course) 48 hours to "take care of business." And we wonder why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer! I have ZERO faith in politics- ZERO! All politicians care about is what they are running for 2 to 4 years down the road.
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Re: "Too big to ...", Continuing the "new era" thread

Postby Blue&White » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:24 am

I was having the "vigilante justice" discussion with a good friend yesterday. When government refuses to do its job, it really is all you have left, isn't it?

My friend and I were talking about what ordinary people could do about something like this. Writing your Congressman isn't going to do anything because he or she is aware and probably doesn't care. What we thought we needed was a lot of letters and phone calls to Congress. The problem there is people don't really seem to follow these stories. Seriously, how many people on this board really knew about this before I posted it? Not enough people know about these stories.

My friend and I talked about talked about printing up fliers with the story about how HSBC is really in the drug and terrorist business and standing outside their branches and handing them out to customers. It's a free country with freedom of speech so, as long as we don't walk onto HSBC's property while doing this, we should be ok, right? I have no doubt we would be arrested and who knows what kind of crazy laws would come out of the wood work to have us facing 20 years of jail time. A few years ago a a member of the Maryland National Guard was sentenced to 16 years in prison for filming his encounter with a state trooper. This despite the fact that cops routinely film their encounters with motorist and government put cameras all over the place to record our every movement. Try filming them back, though, and suddenly they care about what laws are on the books and how you violated their rights to violate your rights.

Standing up and pointing out to the general public how the US is in bed with some of the worst criminals on the planet, or at least their financiers, is a good way to find yourself in solitary confinement for 20 years. The reason these things happen because there are not enough people in this country willing to stand up and make the personal sacrifices necessary to stop this sort of thing. We are all either too apathetic or too cowardly and afraid to lose what we have to stand up to this blatant corruption. And, I certainly include myself in that description. I'm not apathetic but I'm not prepared to make the sacrifices necessary to fight this. At least not on my own.

Well, not yet, I'm not.

Anyone else want to lead the charge?
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Re: "Too big to ...", Continuing the "new era" thread

Postby appoo » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:40 am

Hey I never argued they were to Big to prosecute. It's not my fault Holder/State AGs are too big of a pansy to go after some of these criminals.

The gov't also never even attempted to grab the power to break up banks simply based on size. They only wanted to the power to break them up when they become a threat to the economy (which is exactly what they have). Obama never promised what you claimed either. There's no way he'd promise that because it would be basically communism.
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Re: "Too big to ...", Continuing the "new era" thread

Postby Blue&White » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:46 am

Too big to prosecute = too big to fail. If you can't risk taking them down, you can't let them go down.

And, how is forcing a break up of these banks communism? The government would not be taking them over, they would just be breaking them into smaller pieces that do not threaten our total economy. From 1934 to 1999 laws prevented these types of banks. Are you suggesting we were a communist country in that interval? I'm pretty sure we were not.

The US government has every right, and even an obligation, to take down entities that are so big they threaten the financial well being and national security of the entire country. When you throw in the number of crimes being committed - fixing of libor rates, rigging of municipal bond auctions, laundering drug and terrorist money (and that is just what they got nailed doing in 2012!!!!), it is an abdication of government's responsibility to NOT start taking these things apart. They are criminal enterprises.

Communism; what a crock of an argument.
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Re: "Too big to ...", Continuing the "new era" thread

Postby gmay10 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:07 am

If you have some time over the next few week check out the show "Amish Mafia". I am not saying that the Discovery Channel is not embellishing at all but but the concept really makes sense. Due to the fact that I garden and try to can a lot of our veggies and fruit over the summer and fall I am pretty good acquaintances with 2 Amish farmers. They let me go to their gardens and pretty much pick what I want and then I pay them. Or we swop veggies.

The Amish DO NOT call the cops. The church is the cops. But what happens when you need to go to the church but are embarrassed about going to the church? You go to the guy the Discovery channel is calling the mafia. If you do watch keep in mind that Lebanon Levi, apparently the head of the mafia, is single and has not been baptized into the Amish church. Kids who are not baptized into the church can do whatever they want for the most part. This takes place in Southern Lancaster county. Just make sure you watch an entire episode before you pass judgement. As I have told people who are sceptical about this program- It just makes sense in my eyes to have guys like this in the Amish community.
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Re: "Too big to ...", Continuing the "new era" thread

Postby PSUPappy » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:05 am

Things that make ya go "Hmmmmm":

HSBC-What, then, is the exact purpose of the justice system (besides the obvious hammering of the little guy, of course)?
Let's see, what would I do if the government offered to settle an investigation by letting me pay a fine with other people's
money?

Amish Mafia-In other news, it was revealed today that there is no embellishment or fakery on TV reality shows. Watched an episode last night while awaiting the start of the women's volleyball match. No surprise, of course (except that its on a channel that, IMO, used to have decent programming) to realize that this is all about the Cha-Ching...its dumb, dull, somewhat bizarre and moronic at the same tim and doesn't pass the smell test to me. In other words, perfect TV. Incidentally, I don't believe the claim that the Amish don't call the police...they did during the Nickel Mine shooting in '06. To me, believing reality shows are not heavily produced is like believing the promises of politicians.
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Re: "Too big to ...", Continuing the "new era" thread

Postby Blue&White » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:44 am

I've never seen the show, GMay, but if you are advocating a system were we do away with our system of justice that includes juries, rights for the accused, the burden of proof being on the state, etc. and instead replace it for the equivalent of mob rule my response is: no thanks. It may work in a small community where everyone knows everyone but even then it sounds like the kind of thing that can be readily abused. No one is infallible or so sagacious that they should wield unilateral power over issues of "right" and "wrong" or even more mundane considerations like "guilt" or "innocence".

I'm not an advocate of vigilante justice or any justice outside of a proper system where the laws are known, the rules are defined, etc. The problem I have with our current system is that our executive branch is simply not doing its job, so vigilante justice almost becomes a the only option - and that is a problem. But, I'd much rather find a way to get the system to get into gear and function vs. working outside it.
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