If you aid and abet terrorists...

You’ll end up dead in a drone strike or indefinitely detained in Gitmo. But, if you’re a big Wall Street bank and you finance terrorist activities, then guess what? You get a slap on the wrist fine and then…well…that’s it. This week – HSBC settled to pay $1.92 billion in criminal fines, for laundering money on behalf of Mexican drug cartels, and working with banks in the Middle East that are closely affiliated with terrorist organizations. The Chairman of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Senator Carl Levin, described HSBC’s culture as “pervasively polluted for a long time.”

So why aren’t any executives going to Gitmo? And why hasn't the bank become a pile of smoldering rubble from a drone strike? Because HSBC is too big to fail, and to quote one government source close to the investigation, bringing formal charges against HSBC would be a “death sentence” for the bank and the rest of the financial system. Given Wall Street’s rap sheet of crashing the economy, defrauding investors and homeowners, stealing trillions from taxpayers, ripping off markets by manipulating interest rates, and now assisting drug cartels and terrorist organizations – I’d say a corporate death sentence is long overdue for these bankster institutions.

Maybe with Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren nabbing a spot on the Senate Banking Committee, we’ll finally see some action.


netactivist99 10 years 14 weeks ago

Too big to indict is a terrible policy decision by the Obama admin.

Better late than never, please allow me to suggest not "right to work" but "right to freeload" & "right to steal" -- get union-negotiated salaries, benefits and protections without paying.

2020Whalen's picture
2020Whalen 10 years 14 weeks ago

This fear of the banks is outragous

they should have been cuffed and tried

coorporations are people as they say

so arrest the whole god damn company and all that run it

jimlarson's picture
jimlarson 10 years 14 weeks ago

I just saw the movie Too Big to Fail.. If just one banker went to jail, it would have sent a meaningful message. Elizabeth Warren could be the one to accomplish that..

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 10 years 14 weeks ago

Agreed. But which situation actually stirs middle class Americans to get on their feet in outrage -- the horrendous consequences of unrestrained corporate power or the terror that someone, somewhere, might be puchasing a carton of ice cream with food stamps?

DaStoneboat 10 years 14 weeks ago

Any chance of a followup article about if the Banksters are turning over terrorist evidence and naming names, like the Saudi Arabian Royal Family?

leighmf's picture
leighmf 10 years 14 weeks ago

Since they know "HSBC’s culture as 'pervasively polluted for a long time,'" what is the reason why it's gone on so long? They KNOW a lot more than that.

First of all, everybody's "blind trust" is at stake.

This is financial terrorism- that is the right phrase. I am a victim and I am sick of it.

HSBC is an opium bank from long ago. But we love royalty.

Here's how long HSBC has been polluted:

In 1898, the same year Warren Bechtel started his RR construction company, HSBC was begun by the union of the British house Jardines (nowJ ardines Fleming) and BCC, or British China Construction Company. BCC built China's railroads.

If anyone would properly look at the 100 year railroad gold mortgages of 1898 and compare them with financial events of 1998 and 2008 they might have a chance at getting it. But our peeps in Washington are not going to do that.

1995 Wells Fargo HSBC Trade Bank, National Association 1 Front Street, 21st Floor San Francisco,CA 94111 FDIC Certificate #: 34075 Date Established: 10/5/1995

People I'm here to tell you in 1998

Denver & Rio Grande Western RR formed a new incorporation
Norfolk Western merged into Norfolk Southern
Norfolk Southern sold NAVL to CDR, Cayman Islands-
twice-sold by my grandfather's cousin in law to Pepsi and NS
Barnett Bank inactive
Fort Wayne National Bank merged into National City Bank- part Kryder Estate in FWNB of record

In this act The entire Kryder Real estate and Insurance company of about 1,000 mortgages dating from 1919, The Frank Freimann Magnavox "Charitable Trust" and much more was absconded from the rightful owners.

For those who love railroad history, The Denver & Rio Grande Western RR was owned by Robert Fleming, Ian Fleming's grandfather. His other son, Michael Valentine Fleming owned the Norfolk and Western which bordered the Kryder real estate developments.

In 2004, The Miami Herald Reported, " A Jamaican branch of Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia was reported to have refused to serve the Cuban Embassy in Kingston, and British-based HSBC bank reportedly shut down several Cuban accounts it held around the world."

In 2008, HSBC was a swing lender to WORLD FUEL SERVICES CORPORATION- something that was involved in "The Fort Wayne Daisy Chain" years ago in a fuel mark-up ring. This was during the reign of Don Powell and the Amarillo Oil men in the FDIC just before Fannie Mae, Indy MAC, and WAMU.

Nobody is going to even sneeze at The Queen or House of Fleming- they are safe with old Harriman Union Pacific Railroad bonds, Thyssen-Prescott Bush, Bush CIA and Krupp railroad patents which MUST stay hidden.

The age of the bonds is actually 1868- they were made between Fort Wayne Bankers of the Union Pacific, Fried. Krupp, Fleming and others through The Corporation of Foreign Bondholders. see Moody's Manuals of Banking

This is the root of all- till the vaults are opened on the bonds everyone has forgotten, no one will ever figure out Financial Terrorism.

klentz's picture
klentz 10 years 14 weeks ago

The instituion HSBC is entirely innocent. Its the executives inside who are criminal. True justice would have been to not fine the bank itself, but all individuals involved (for all they are worth), AND throw them all in jail 10-15 years. If this was done, the "financial system" and HSBC would survive just fine, thank you very much (to quote Thom).

I am sure there are thousands of competent AND ethical banking professionals (an oxymoron?) who could step in and run the bank without missing a beat.

"Death Sentence" my ass!!!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 14 weeks ago

I'm with you, Thom. "Too big to fail" should translate to "too big to exist". -Alice I.W.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 10 years 14 weeks ago

It was evident only after the first year in office that Obama was as close to these Banksters as the politicians on the right side of the isle are. Now there is no doubt he is in bed with the Bansksters on Wall St. and the Banksters across the pond in England. I made the mistake of voting for him the first election in 08', but wised up in a hurry after watching how he protected the criminals on Wall St, that his administration deemed to "big to fail". It is obvious to everyone including Obama that these crooks at HSBC are as guilty as the guy who holds up a liquor store on the corner, but unlike the holdup man the executives at HSBC now know, or perhaps they have known all along, that they will not be held accountable for their crimes of money laundering and supporting the finances of Drug Cartels and only God knows what other crimes they have been involved in! What group of criminals would stop their illegal behavior if they knew they only had to pay a fine for their crime that was less than the profits they made in their illegal activities? The answer to that question is an obvious NONE! The Obama Administration is like a judge who finds the criminals not guilty of their crimes because he was paid off to set them free to commit more crimes against society. I knew Obama was tied into the Banksters because of the cash they paid him and the Democrats in the form of political donations, just like they have done to the Republicans to keep their taxes low. But I never considered him and his administration (Justice Dept.) to be this corrupt, as to consider any person or group of people innocent of crime they have committed because they controlled so much wealth. So far it appears Obama and his Dept. of Justice has not disappointed the fat cats on Wall St. Does Obama think the American Public is so naive to believe this garbage they are handing out, that no one or group of Banksters could take over the operations of HSBC? Anyone with half a brain realizes that all major corporations have contingency plans for replacing top personnel in the event something would incapacitate them from performing their duties and therefore HSBC would have the same stand by plans for their executives! If a person is caught smoking marijuana they are guilty of committing a felony under Federal law, but if a bank helps a drug cartel launder their illegal profits from marijuana they are only fined for committing a felony. Is it any wonder why America is seen to be so massively corrupt for committing War Crimes to laundering hundreds of millions (perhaps even billions of dollars) of dollars in illegal profits for Drug Cartels and Terrorist factions that are out to destroy western society. Corruption does not start at the top of these Banks and trickles down to its employee's for pushing illegal derivatives, it actually begins at the top of the White House and trickles down to Banksters and Wall St crooks by allowing these crimes to go unpunished. And we that voted for Obama the first time actually believed he and his administration was different from the corrupt Bush administration and the crimes they committed! Boy were we fooled...

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 14 weeks ago

I can't say that I was fooled. Back in '08, I voted for Obama with a guarded sense of hope. I say "guarded" because I'd picked up on a few red flags before he was even elected. From the beginning when Obama first ran for the oval office, he made clear his intentions to escalate the war in Afghanistan, a big turn-off for me. I also recall, early on, catching wind of him favoring nuclear power; another red flag. As always, the Republican candidate was unacceptable (not to mention McCain's choice of a running mate!), which compelled me to pick the guy with the best shot at defeating them. I remember hoping that once in office, Obama would kick butt on those plutocrats and restore some measure of sanity to life here... but not for a moment did I count on this. I voted for him again this year, but for the same reason; it was more a vote against Romney than for Obama. - Aliceinwonderland

sinsibility's picture
sinsibility 10 years 14 weeks ago

The death sentence for HSBC and the whole financial system would be the best thing that could happen. Then we can reinvent the banking system from a standpoint of local accountability, and take back the power that has been shoplifted from the American public.

Overgreed is the concept that must be demonized. It seems to be infectous and easily contracted by the thought of "I can do it too". Leaving a sea of victims in it's wake.

How about the concept of cooperation? This would take the edge off the profit at all cost theory.

Taking greed out of the recipe would fix most of our problems. Start with the banksters, and keep going through the food business. Bring it back local, and champion the notion of greater good.

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 10 years 14 weeks ago

Just another prime example of our two tiered Justice System.
Fair???ABSOLUTLY NOT!!!But that's how it is after more than 100yrs of Rothchild corrupt self-rewarding value system.

The pot is bubbleing...Are we too cooked to make a difference?
Can we collectively change our way of think to change this story? Or will we just moan and groan while staying the coarse.

If you voted for Obama or Romney you voted to stay the coarse...Just another part of the machinery.

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 10 years 14 weeks ago

Many people - including old school republicans - shared your delima and cast a "fear" vote against Romney...It's too bad that We the People don't demand better...We shouldn't allow fear and propaganda to persuade us. Conscience based voting rather than fear based voting is the only way for We the People to steer this country in the direction we want.
There weren't any noble differences between Obama and Romney...Just a shuffle of the same policy deck...Again! No matter how you look at it; Evil is Evil is Evil...

During the primaries I supported Ron Paul; based on his ideas for a more Diplomatic Foreign Policy, Audit the Federal Reserve and States Rights for drug laws...Then A friend introduced me to Rocky Anderson - former demacrat, and two time mayer of uber conservative Salt Lake City, Utah - of the newly founded Justice Party. After I studied his history, values, public accomplishments, and policy reform ideas I begain to campaign for him and his newly founded Justice Party. Of course I heard all kinds of comments from brainwashed Demacrats and Republicans, but I know what I want, and what I wanted wasn't thwarted by fear. I accepted the fact that be it Obama or Romney not much would change. I felt strongly though that my vote successful or not - sent a messege for actual change.
I also know people who voted for Jill Stein of the Green Party for the same reasons.

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 10 years 14 weeks ago

There is a very simple and very good reason why the Obama administration refuses to prosecute banks and other corporations that commit crimes: the Obama administration looks forward, not backward. And I am sure that Barak and Michelle have raised their children in the same way: when the kids do something wrong, their parents say, "Well, we look forward, not backward, so while we would prefer that you stop doing wrong things, you need to know that there are no consequences for doing wrong things. But when you become adults you will need to remember that if you are poor there are consequences for doing wrong things but if you are rich there are no consequences. If you remember these things, my children, you will do well in corporate-controlled America."

Yes, I'm sure that's the way Barak and Michelle have raised their children. And it goes without saying that when you refuse to set any boundaries for banks and other corporations and hyper-rich people, they all behave themselves perfectly.

But I do agree with republicans that America spends more money than it should. We really do need spending cuts. In fact, America needs a drastic austerity program regardless of whether the American public likes it or not. It's going to be tough, but we HAVE to do it. Here are the non-negotiable spending cuts that we have to make:

1. Quit spending money on illegal and inhumane wars against countries that never did anything to us.

2. Quit allowing republican-controlled corporations to defraud medicair.

3. Quit paying senators and representatives who represent the interests of other countries.

4. Get out of treaties like NAFTA and CAFTA and Obama's recent "Free-Trade" agreement, all of which benefit other countries at America's expense.

5. Quit allowing banks to charge interest on student loans. In fact, force the banks to return all of the money they have made on student loan interest. If banks don't want to loan money to students with no interest, it's not a problem: the federal government and every state should start their own banks to fund student loans.

6. Quit giving trillions of dollars in tax breaks to wealthy corporations and wealthy people, because if they can't stand up on the two feet that God gave them and pay their fare share, they are free to leave America and not do business in America,

When we make these courageous but drastic and extremely painful spending cuts, we will have enough money to give everyone free medical care, free education through post-graduate levels, and protect unemployment insurance and social security. I know, austerity will be very hard on republicans. But they need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, depend on their own resources, and kneel on their prayer rugs four times a day and pray for Ayn Rand to give them the intelligence and will power to stop depending on big government to help them out at our expense.

But while I think that republicans should not get any money from big government, I am a compassionate person. I mean, if I get off the freeway and there's a republican in filthy clothing standing by the side of the road with a sign that says, "I am a fraud, a liar, and a thief, and can't do an honest day's work for an honest dollar," I will feel pity for him. I will give him a few dollars to help tide him over while he gets psychotherapy for his problems. I just don't think it is government's job to help republicans, because they can get all the help they need from their churches, and from compassionate people like me.

David Kahl's picture
David Kahl 10 years 14 weeks ago

Banking has had 400+ years to establish and refine their brand of economic superstition and the propaganda that promotes it. They are no different than the money changers in the temple. For that matter, they are no different than those who, in ancient times, preyed upon the hardest working peasants, toiling for meager harvest, by telling them that they needed someone to intervene on their behalf to gain the blessings of the appropriate gods. All it took was a modest offering, whether the poor schlub could afford it or not. If the next year's harvest was good, the priests took the credit; if it was worse, you must have done something to bring on the wrath of the gods. Of course, you really had to step up and pay, since it was going to take hard work to undo your error.

So now, it's not wheat or cotton or sheep or cattle that is being conveyed for value. It's electronic impulse, translated into ciphers, considered as tangibles, but which will neither directly feed nor clothe the "owner". We the People are not regarded as living, but as a cruel academic exercise, a means to the ends which build even grander financial temples.

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 10 years 14 weeks ago

This will blow your hair back.

My friends wife has worked for Comcast Cable here in Fl. for 31 years, is at the top of her pay scale (18.00/hr), and 4 years away from retirement.
Three weeks ago she received notice that her postiton will be given to an entry level employee at less than half her hourly wage and no benefits. She has until the end of the year to decide if she wants to transfer over to the east coast office (237 miles away) - without gurantee that the samething won't happen - or walk with a severance package that is less than what her full retirement would be.

That's life working in a Right-to-Work-State. Spend your life slaving for peanuts to make a few people uber rich and in the end get the shaft.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 14 weeks ago

Okay No Fraud, I plead guilty to a fear-driven vote. It's just that Romney & Ryan terrified me... ESPECIALLY the prospect of Romney picking our next several Supreme Court justices!! Unhappy as I've been with Obama, I do not believe he and Romney are from the same league. When it comes to psychopathic tendencies or capacity for evil, they are far from equal. What Romney had in store for us and our country was WAY worse. Trust me.

My favorite candidates were Rocky Anderson and Jill Stein. I agree; either of them would have been a great alternative to Obama. But in reality, No Fraud, neither of them was really a viable choice because neither had a prayer of a chance. And that is the harsh reality my friend, whether we like it or not.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 14 weeks ago

It isn't because people don't make better choices; it's because of how the system is rigged. There was simply too much at stake for me to throw away my vote on a candidate stuck in the margins, who was bound to lose. Romney & Ryan were just too dangerous. We had to beat those guys, even if it meant having to "stay the course". Believe me, I'm no happier with it than you are. But like ole Ma used to say, "There's always a bottom below!"

It's like one big-ass, convoluted, f##ked-up chess game, and I HATE it. Such a no-win... at least for us peons. And No Fraud, I SO understand where you're coming from because I've been on your side of this quandry. You've got my sympathy. Back in election year 2000, I voted for Ralph Nader instead of Al Gore, and for the same reason you picked Rocky Anderson. I remember the debates I had with my mother over this, when I used many of the same arguments you've used in this discussion.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 14 weeks ago

Mom was a progressive with strong opinions, and a political animal like me. She called Nader a "spoiler" and accused him of dividing the liberal vote. When it came to the opposition, we saw eye to eye; in candidate Bush we saw nothing but trouble. I would have much preferred Gore over that toxic brat, but I liked Nader better than Gore. I could see Mom's point... but after eight years of Clinton & Gore, I - like you - wanted real change rather than just more of the same.

I keep going back and forth with this, election to election, and it gets old. Our "democracy" is a joke.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 14 weeks ago

As to the fate of your friend's wife- my condolences. I think we could be approaching an era where more of us self-employ, going into business for ourselves; maybe even barter more. Wouldn't it be cool if we could then, collectively, thumb our noses at the Almighty Oligarchs, when their goods & services are no longer needed! (Oh well, I can dream can't I?)

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 14 weeks ago

I didn't think Ron Paul was so great, by the way. Much as I liked his positions on foreign policy and the "war on drugs" (HUGE issues!), I just couldn't get behind his candidacy. Not after checking out his website. He was so into stealing more of the commons and privatizing everything... AND forcing women into childbirth against their will, AND (as if that wasn't bad enough) in a society where health care isn't even guaranteed as a right! More poverty, more disempowerment, more austerity... No thanks.

Like "Sinsibility", I love the idea of a system based more on cooperation than competition, on need not greed.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 14 weeks ago

On another note... if corporations are "people", they oughta be subject to the death penalty like us. What's "good enough for the goose..."

I totally agree with "Sinsibility's" assertion that greed is the root of all evil. Yeah the banksters, the food industry... You can add healthcare profiteers to that list! Everything that ails our society & culture can be traced back to plain old simple greed. If we don't find a way to contain it, we are doomed.

Have a nice weekend, folks. - Aliceinwonderland

P.S. Dave Abbot - BRILLIANT. Should you decide to run for prez in four years, you'll have my vote.

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 10 years 14 weeks ago

Spoiler???Isn't that the point!?!?

It's that ol "spoiler" fear rehtoric that keeps us staying the course; along with - like you point out - the system is fixed to maintain a Plutocracy for the Oligarcs.

However its WE the People - politicaly speaking - they fear...Our forefathers fought to be independent and to not live under tyranny.
Our obligation is not to the government; our obligation is to the principles that our country is supose to stand for. The government is a artificial creation...This is what the Declaration of Independence says...It says that Governments are set up by the people to acheive certain ends: The equal right to Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. When Government becomes destructive of those ends, it is the right of The People to alter or abolish the Government.
"Obedience to Government is the sign of a Totalitarian State." (howard zinn)

If We the People need to get radical in order to level the pillars of injustice...Then lets exercise our rights.

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 10 years 14 weeks ago

I share your feelings.

We can be better.

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 10 years 14 weeks ago

The wheels on the bus go round and round...

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 14 weeks ago

Absolutely, No Fraud. You're spot-on.

Johnnie Dorman's picture
Johnnie Dorman 10 years 14 weeks ago

I've always know exactly why these bankster creeps and all the other criminals in our government want cannibus to reamain illegal, just so that they can profit from the illegality while many Americans go to jail, simply because a lot of people prefer cannibus to alcohol. I've been so sick and tired of their crimes against the citizens of America for so long, it sure would be nice to finally see these SOB's get what they have deserved for a very long, long time.

wildbull's picture
wildbull 10 years 14 weeks ago

Lets start with Grover's plea that his pledge is for the American Tax Payer's. His pledge wasn’t an attempt to save the people from ruthless legislators who prey on people. His whole agenda is to get control of the Legislative Branch for his benefactors, the “secret funders” of his TTP (taxpayer protection pledge) his job as a lobbyist is in direct opposition to the oath of office that these politicians have taken to be stewards of this country.

The impact we are all witnessing, is the gridlock in Washington primarily fueled by this egregious pledge. All of those who have signed this pledge suffer from the knowledge that if they do the responsible thing (compromise) to make this country run smoothly then they will probably not even be nominated by their party caucus in the next election.

In his statement he talks about how Rick Perry has governed his state without tax hikes, that is non-sense Texas is suffering big time and has the same gridlock that many States (Montana too) have when their legislative branch is bound up with Norquist Pledgers who are beholding to the Secret Funders of his distribution network to politicians.

George Bush didn’t raise taxes however he created the homeland security department, no child left behind (without funding), the secret jails all over the world, two wars, and a business model that nearly bankrupt America.

If you want to believe the fluffy crap that Norquist is trying to spin in his “quest opinion” then perhaps you should be aware that his pack of pledgers (we have a bunch here in Montana) are funneling legislation written specifically for big business, not for Mom and Pop as he’d have you believe.

When a politician takes the oath of office he/she swears to do his/her duty with no mental reservations or purpose of evasion... with them signing this oath and having to be beholding to a third party (power of the pledge) they in turn become “domestic enemies”, I kid you not these people are dangerous for America!

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