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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Revelations from Matt Taibbi’s Takedown on HSBC’s Drug Money Laundering


Matt Taibbi’s most recent Rolling Stone article unpacks one of last year’s most shocking bank cases in our era of “ Too Big to Jail.”
In December, HSBC was punished with a $1.9 billion settlement on drug laundering charges, the largest in American history, yet only five weeks worth of profits for the world’s third largest bank.
U.S. Assistant Attorney Lanny Breuer was uncharacteristically candid when explaining why he refused to pursue criminal charges:
“HSBC would almost certainly have lost its banking license in the U.S., the future of the institution would have been under threat and the entire banking system would have been destabilized.”
People were rightfully outraged when not a single HSBC banker went to jail for a decades’ worth of federal crimes, including money-laundering linked to drug cartels, terrorists and oppressive regimes.
Taibbi dove deep into HSBC’s case and history, revealing that the bank’s crimes were even worst than we thought. Here are five shockers from his article:
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