Banking Giant HSBC Settles For $1.9 Billion Over Laundering Billions For Mexican Drug Cartels, Saudi Terrorists, And Iran

Is the second-largest bank on the planet also one of the most far-reaching criminal organizations? The New York Times reports:

Federal and state authorities plan to announce a record $1.9 billion settlement with HSBC on Tuesday, a major victory in the government’s broad crackdown on money laundering at banks.

The settlement with HSBC stems from accusations that the British banking giant transferred billions of dollars on behalf of sanctioned nations like Iran and enabled Mexican drug cartels to launder money through the American financial system, according to officials briefed on the matter. Prosecutors found that the bank had facilitated money laundering by cartels and had moved tainted money for Saudi Arabian banks tied to terrorist organizations.

Since January 2009, the Justice and Treasury Departments and Manhattan prosecutors have charged six foreign banks, including Credit Suisse and Barclays. In June, ING Bank reached a $619 million settlement to resolve claims that it had transferred billions of dollars in the United States for Cuba and Iran.

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  • Liam_McGonagle

    Yeah, but I heard HSBC feel really, really bad about the whole thing. Sorry’s gotta count for something, no?

    • Jin The Ninja

      it’s one of the few mediums-of-exchange, corporations are (begrudgingly) willing to part with…

  • Noah Way

    Too big to jail.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

    This ponzi-scheme System isn’t going to last much longer.

    • alizardx

      Societies where the primary purpose of government has become facilitating rent-extraction for the wealthy generally go into the crapper.

      • Jin The Ninja

        and with globalisation-cum-neo-liberalisation that means basically anywhere with a president and a phone line.

        • Aungsan

          Not everywhere, I tried to find this video with good subtitles but it only has the beta translation of youtube, try to check it out Jin and let me know what you think.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rhZwzPD_SY

  • emperorreagan

    I think banks should go one of two ways:

    In either case they should be nationalized.

    (1) Spin off the high risk side of the business and retain the savings and loans side – the government runs the conservative side of the business directly while private entities can run the hedge funds, investment houses, etc.

    (2) Set cap sizes on savings and loans, limit them to those functions, and spin them back off into private entities. A bunch of small banks with various different standards and more directly tied to the communities they operate in don’t create the systemic risk that large banks with relatively uniform policies cause. Also gives the double whammy of eliminating the monopolistic practices you see developing among the big guys and would also make money laundering operations more difficult and complex to operate (and ultimately easier to spot and bust).

    The high risk side of the business is still spun off into separate entities as before.

    I like #2 better, but would be okay with either option. The current government handling of the financial industry is guaranteed to lead to more blow ups.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

      But the government is run by the banks. So, in a sense, they’re already nationalized. Under TARP their losses were nationalized. Their profits aren’t. The audit of the Fed revealed that the Fed bailed out banks all over the world, too. The banks, along with fiat currency, are on the way out anyways. Time for a reset and a new medium of exchange. Bit coin?

      • emperorreagan

        All governments are run by elites. Sometimes the thugs at the top change, but it seldom makes a big difference.

      • psychiashit

        > But the government is run by the banks. So, in a sense, they’re already nationalized.

        This kind of misses the point. At least there would be some avenue for the people to govern finances, whereas now there is none. So while the opportunity may be wasted, at least there is one, but right now there isn’t. Like Carlin said, it’s a big club and you ain’t in it.

  • psychiashit

    > Federal and state authorities plan to announce a record $1.9 billion settlement with HSBC on Tuesday, a major victory

    Fining a bank a pittance… have they not heard of leverage? Bailouts? The bank either moves this loss onto the taxpayer or conjures up the money from fractional reserves. Nothing is going to change until either the finance law changes or the banksters are behind bars.

    A major victory… what a joke.

  • BuzzCoastin

    > Since January 2009, the Justice and Treasury Departments and Manhattan prosecutors have charged six foreign bank

    probably because US banks found the competition for money laundering cutting into their profits

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