Chicken feed - a trifling amount of money.....
That's what the $1.92 billion fine is that HSBC, one of the world's largest banks, is paying to get rid of accusations that it laundered billions of dollars for drug cartels and in the illegal sanctions racket.
Exactly how many billions they laundered will remain a mystery. The laundry fees don't come cheap either.
No indictments, no prosecutions, just a promise to keep their 'noses clean' in exchange for what is being called eluding a possible death sentence for the bank.
The US Treasury and the Federal Reserve take their cut and everyone goes home happy. Love of criminal money does sometimes require saying you are sorry and then it's back to scheming on how to avoid this next time.
"We accept responsibility for our past mistakes," Stuart Gulliver, HSBC's chief executive, said in a statement. "We have said we are profoundly sorry for them, and we do so again.
There are direct parallels to what HSBC was doing to what Wachovia Bank was doing in the US although Wachovia's fine was smaller. Wells Fargo bought Wachovia after that so the poor short term memory of the public kicked in, they forgot all about it and it was back to the races.
As long as there are drug cartels in Mexico and South America and a massive heroin business run out of Afghanistan and as long as the CIA and 'friends' are involved, there will be banks to launder the money. People just can't carry hundreds of billions in cash around with them. They need the ease of electronic transfer and banker profits pay many a bribe to keep it going.
Fines here and there against banks are just a game. The public gets the illusion that the government is doing something but drug trafficking, the War on Drugs with its human toll and money laundering with all of its various sideline corruptions goes on.
The bankers, pharmaceutical companies and other monopolistic corporations are not going to stand for the states' legalizing marijuana and hemp because it could lead to massive reductions in profits and further the idea that the people can actually do something that is in their interests. The cabal will pressure the feds through bribery and blackmail to do what it takes to eliminate the threat.
I know we keep beating the horse on this issue but marijuana is a hot topic and over the holidays if it comes up with family and friends we should use the opportunity to add how even the mainstream media is reporting on the banker's drug money laundering scam and that it's not the first time. This could lead into even deeper talk on how the top level of the financial crime syndicate is behind every injustice including loss of state's and individual's rights, wars and the big time thefts. Follow the money. It takes you there.