British-based HSBC, the largest bank on the planet, laundered billions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels and sanctioned governments like Iran. But no one will go to jail. Instead they have been ordered to pay a fine. Granted, the fine is $1.92 billion, but for an institution that has assets of $2.5 trillion and yearly profits of $22 billion, it’s a write off.
U.S. prosecutors decided that actually punishing the white-collar criminals who oversaw these illegal transactions would ruin the bank’s reputation and destabilize world economic markets. So the British and U.S. executives at HSBC who took part in this criminal enterprise get to stay in their mansions, keep their Rolls Royces and sleep in their satin sheets.
If I go out on the street today and get caught selling an ounce of coke, I would face a mandatory minimum 5- to 20-year jail term, with a possible maximum term of life imprisonment.
I’m too little to win.