Letters to the Editor

December 17, 2012

Bank’s lesson

The Dec. 11 article, UK regulator steps up compliance rules for HSBC, informed us that HSBC and the U.S. Justice Department entered into a $1.9 billion settlement of charges of extensive money laundering, including enabling Mexican drug cartels to launder money through the U.S. financial system. But the bank didn’t launder the money – the bank is a legal fiction. Individual people, bankers, laundered the money.

The Dec. 11 article, UK regulator steps up compliance rules for HSBC, informed us that HSBC and the U.S. Justice Department entered into a $1.9 billion settlement of charges of extensive money laundering, including enabling Mexican drug cartels to launder money through the U.S. financial system. But the bank didn’t launder the money – the bank is a legal fiction. Individual people, bankers, laundered the money.

And while people are jailed every day for possessing small quantities of marijuana, not a single banker was charged, much less jailed, for what is in essence participating in the sale of huge quantities of drugs.

What is the lesson to bankers? Do it again.

It’s just the cost of doing business, and while it seems like a lot of money, it is not. $1.9 billion is 1 percent of HSBC value, and after the announcement its stock value went up.

This isn’t right, and it’s not justice.

Michael Miller, Miami

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