Ever heard of HSBC? I’ll bet most haven’t, but it is one of the largest banks in the world. Founded in the 1860’s in Hong Kong (“HSBC” stands for Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) in part to finance the growing opium trade with China, the bank is currently headquartered in London (the bank fled Hong Kong when the Japanese arrived in 1941) and has offices and branches pretty much everywhere in the world.
It turns out that HSBC decided it could turn a tidy profit by money laundering for drug cartels and terrorist States/groups. The actions taken by HSBC in these efforts were pretty brazen and eventually they came to the attention of the United States government and legal action was started. And HSBC faced what amounted to a “death penalty”. The criminal activity was so pervasive that the criminal penalties would have demanded an end to HSBC’s activities in the United States and probably a bunch of other nations where it is alleged the “rule of law”is prevalent.
But, in the end, all HSBC got hit with was a $1.9 billion fine. Don’t get me wrong, that is a pretty hefty chunk of change, but with a market capitalization of nearly $196 billion, it is the merest chump change as far as HSBC is concerned. They’ll probably make it up by moving their money laundering operations to some backwater where US writ doesn’t run and just add a surcharge to the drug lord’s monthly fees. No directors of the firm were arrested or charged, nothing else is going to happen. A gigantic criminal enterprise which makes the mafia pale in comparison and all that happens is a fine. The likely reason they got off with a wrist slap? Taking down HSBC would have roiled the financial system with incalculable effects: it might have been something like a Lehman Brothers.
What has essentially happened here is an addition to the “too big to fail” corporation: the “too big to punish” corporation. And this, my friends, just once again illustrates why I’m at war with Big Corporation. They can get so big that not only can they wreck the economy for the middle class, but they can also get so big that criminality must be glossed over. But in this is also an opportunity for us: it was liberal Obama’s Administration which decided that a wrist slap was appropriate. Here is all the proof we need provide the American people that our Big Government, liberal Ruling Class is in bed with Big Corporation. This is the sort of thing which would allow us to re-cast the debate and force liberals away from attacking “the rich” and defending their own sleazy deals with the super-rich.
For nearly 80 years now this is how it has been – Big Government and Big Corporation working together to protect each other from we, the people. No middle or working class American wants a bank operating in the United States which brazenly helps finance drug lords and terrorists – but that is precisely what HSBC did. And when they got caught were the directors “perp walked” out of headquarters and taken off to jail? No, they were allowed to work out a deal where a relatively small amount of money – from the pocket of the corporation, not the directors – was kicked back to Uncle Sam, almost as it if were Big Governments “cut” for the deal. Do you believe that HSBC will never money launder again? When they operate in China, Venezuela and Iran? When they operate in scores of countries where a bribe is all it takes to grease the wheels of “justice”? But what the American people want doesn’t matter – Big Government and Big Corporation had a sit down and worked out a deal. Everything’s fine. As long as you’re not interested in honesty and justice, that is.
The stench of corruption in government and corporation just grows and grows…and no one really fights it. Our liberals don’t because when they aren’t working for Big Government they are working for Big Corporation. Why don’t we conservatives? I think because in our ardent defense of free markets we lost sight of the fact that just because something is supposedly in the private sector, it doesn’t mean it actually has the private sector’s interests at heart. But we need to shift – and start attacking this sort of nonsense. Its our ticket to getting more and more people to understand that we are on the side of the people: the working and middle class people who actually make the country work.
HAT TIP: Daily Caller