“Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke” says Matt Taibbi of the Rolling Stone. He leads with “If you’ve ever been arrested on a drug charge, if you’ve ever spent even a day in jail for having a stem of marijuana in your pocket or “drug paraphernalia” in your gym bag, Assistant Attorney General and longtime Bill Clinton pal Lanny Breuer has a message for you: Bite me.” Taibbi is refreshingly direct.
The settlement shows, in my opinion:
- The excuse was “Criminal prosecution might topple the bank and endanger the financial system.” If that is true (doubtful) in what condition is our financial system, even after $Trillions of bailouts? If it is not true, what does that say about the “rule of law” and corruption at the top?
- Laundering $Billions in drug money is a criminal offense, but not prosecutable, if done by politically connected bankers.
- If bankers are not prosecuted for “vast and prolonged” money laundering and aiding “terrorism” then we have a clear confirmation that “too big to fail” (TBTF) banks are higher up the power pyramid than government officials.