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HSBC Gets Slap On The Wrist For Helping To Finance Terrorists

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

The “Too Big Too Jail” nonsense that surrounds large U.S. banks and their above the law employees has been glaringly obvious and thoroughly documented for quite some time now. Yet what represents an even larger slap in the face to millions of hard-working, law-abiding citizens, is how relentlessly the “justice” system goes after small time criminals, while merely fining oligarch thieves for far worse crimes. I first covered this theme earlier this year in my piece Some Money Launderers are “More Equal” than Others, which discussed how HSBC was caught laundering billions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels.

Well HSBC is back in the news. This time it relates to their transferring funds on the behalf of financiers for the militant group Hezbollah. If transactions such as these had even the slightest link to Bitcoin, there would be endless uproar, calls for countless Congressional hearings and demands to stop the currency at all costs. But when HSBC is caught doing it, what happens? A $32,400 settlement.

More from The Huffington Post:

A major U.S. bank has agreed to a settlement for transferring funds on the behalf of financiers for the militant group Hezbollah, the Treasury Department announced on Tuesday.

 

Concluding that HSBC’s actions “were not the result of willful or reckless conduct,” Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control accepted a $32,400 settlement from the bank. Treasury noted, as did HSBC in a statement to HuffPost, that the violations were voluntarily reported.

 

Everett Stern, a former HSBC compliance officer who complained to his supervisors about the Hezbollah-linked transactions, told HuffPost he was “ecstatic and depressed at the same time.”

 

“Those are my transactions, I reported them,” he said, satisfied that the government was taking action. But, he added, “Where I am upset was those were a handful of transactions, and I saw hundreds of millions of dollars” being transferred.

 

Stern said he hopes the government’s enforcement actions against HSBC have not come to an end with the latest settlement. “They admit to financing terrorism and they get fined $32,000. Where if I were to do that, I would go to jail for life,” he said.

 

And the government watchdog’s claim that HSBC committed no “substantially similar apparent violations” in the past five years is likely to raise some eyebrows. In December 2012, the bank agreed to pay a $1.9 billion settlement for moving money that a 2012 Senate report found had likely helped drug cartels and a Saudi Arabian bank the CIA has linked to al Qaeda.

 

No one at HSBC was criminally charged for what U.S. Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer called at the time ”stunning failures of oversight.” The Senate report faulted the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an independent bureau with the Treasury Department, for weak oversight of HSBC.

You know you are a Banana Republic if…

Full article here.

 

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Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:26 | 4263390 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I used to care about shit like this but I take pills against that now...

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:26 | 4263393 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a Moral code that glorifies it." - Frederic Bastiat.

“The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks.” - Lord Acton 1834-1902


Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:28 | 4263406 CH1
CH1's picture

+ 5 for quoting Bastiat and Acton!

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:34 | 4263410 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

How about this combo:

“Where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control.” – Lord Acton


“They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want—they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interest. You know something, they don’t want people that are smart enough to sit around their kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. Because the owners of this country know the truth, it’s called the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.” George Carlin

When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe.” –Frederic Bastiat

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 10:12 | 4263452 Manthong
Manthong's picture

"We get too soon old and too late smart"  -old proverb on gp's kitchen wall.

"The real owners are the big wealthy business interests that control things and ... They want your fucking retirement money. ... It's a big club, and you ain't in it."

 -G. Carlin

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 11:34 | 4263782 XitSam
XitSam's picture

Based on his outrage, Michael Krieger seems to think there is still such a thing as justice.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 12:41 | 4264044 Deo vindice
Deo vindice's picture

For real entertainment value, Hezbollah should decide to do its transactions in Bitcoin. That should make the banks and U.S. government go apoplectic.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:48 | 4263453 Stackers
Stackers's picture

And what do you expect from a bank that was founded with the sole purpose of laundering illegal opiuim drug running profits ?

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 12:30 | 4264010 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

...and once it's clean, you can funnel it to a large number of politicians, parties, judges, officials, and influential persons.

HSBC is organized crime. Unfortunately, so is our government.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:41 | 4263427 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

+1 btw, HSBC is a British megabank, listed in London (with secundary listings nearly everywhere). one of those who would hate to be regulated by any eurozone authority. they lobbied hard for EuroBonds, though, and staged several speculative attacks on eurozone sovereigns, of which some backfired quite badly

megabanks should attach a pirate skull & bones to their logos, at this point

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:56 | 4263475 max2205
max2205's picture

Booked marked

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 11:17 | 4263749 smacker
smacker's picture

HSBC started life in Hong Kong (on the Island).

It only became a "British" megabank when HK was handed back to China and it moved its global HQ to London. I saw this as HSBC protecting itself from the risk of being nationalised by the Chinese.

There's been a lot of speculation that HSBC will relocate itself back to HK or possibly Singapore. I believe the latter is more likely. This may be why it's soon going to float its UK subsidiary.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:32 | 4263414 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Iused to drink.

Unfortunately ,the world is still full of arseholes when you get sober.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 10:13 | 4263467 Manthong
Manthong's picture

solution..  do not sober up?

make critical decisions whilst delerious.. like most politicians

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:25 | 4263391 CH1
CH1's picture

Members of the cartel are approved for money laundering.

Free market money... not so much.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:26 | 4263396 Mae Kadoodie
Mae Kadoodie's picture

OFUC

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:27 | 4263394 Zero Point
Zero Point's picture

Hardened, career criminals.

In suits.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:28 | 4263399 slotmouth
slotmouth's picture

The current FBI Director was on the board of directors for HSBC at the time. 

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:27 | 4263401 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Only $34000.

Going to have one less hooker at the Xmas party.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:31 | 4263407 jubber
jubber's picture

Hang the fuckers

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:30 | 4263411 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

i heard that jpm & iran are thick as thieves

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:30 | 4263412 Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

HSBC = British Royals.
Any questions?

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:36 | 4263434 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

yes. evidence?

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:44 | 4263443 The Abstraction...
The Abstraction of Justice's picture

HSBC was founded by David Sassoon's opium business, and my guess that it is his dynasty, now merged with the Rothschilds, that is still in control of it today.

 

HSBC is owned by the same people who own the Royal arses.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 11:04 | 4263700 chemystical
chemystical's picture

Spot on.  Arthur Sassoon was Leopold de Rothschild's brother-in-law btw (gotta keep it in the family/tribe),

Kinda also sorta helps to explain Mossad's omnipresence in Columbia and Peru.  They provide security for Jewish-controlled corporations - United Brands being a prime example - that smuggle cocaine.  They also murder any law enforcement, politicians, and nuns who got in the way.  Ofc in the USA the DEA and CIA take over after the drugs cross the border, but the proceeds still move through the same banks.

Kinda sort helps to explain state-sponsored mfr and global trafficking of Ecstasy by ISR.

Wait, and what happened to the production of opium in AFG after the Talliban took over?  Oh, it plummeted, but when the good ol' US of A took control and had it's military protect the fields and production and transport, well, imagine that...it's back up to record production.

Same as it ever was.  Religion might be the opium of the people, but "opium" is the religion of the PTB.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:32 | 4263416 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

For big banks, War is *the* ultimate hedge.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:34 | 4263425 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Just a fee for doing criminal activities.

Nobody goes to jail anymore because  the criminals are running the game.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:44 | 4263440 new game
new game's picture

not to be a broken record-but only solution is violent...

\no other outcome except very bad for majority, as history shall bear.

keep an eye on that 2nd amendment...

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:44 | 4263445 madbraz
madbraz's picture

HSBC is not a US bank.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:56 | 4263486 max2205
max2205's picture

I know...right?  We should be giving them compensation instead....oh wait

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 15:28 | 4264903 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

If it was a foreigner caught on US soil he would get many many years in jail.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:47 | 4263449 The Abstraction...
The Abstraction of Justice's picture

Well it could be worse, they could have been funding Mossad. Oh wait, they are Mossad.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 09:57 | 4263483 Ribeye
Ribeye's picture

yet again, this is complete "Obey the Empire" stuff, 

 

i'm neither a fan of HSBC or Hezbollah, but who the fck are the US to tell foreign banks who they may, or may not, process payments for......

 

the US govt is the biggest and most vicious gang of terrorists on the face of the earth, by a country mile.....

 

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 11:20 | 4263756 chemystical
chemystical's picture

"i'm neither a fan of HSBC or Hezbollah, but who the fck are the US to tell foreign banks who they may, or may not, process payments for......?"

Pure theater.  A Jewish bank is moving money for an organization that putatively threatens ISR?  And the US of A funds and provides logistics (and nerve gas?) to Al Quaeda in SYR...whilst putatively conducting a War on Terrorism and naming Al Quaeda as terrorists.

Two choices come quickly to mind:

1) The best way to control the opposition is to lead it (and/or fund it, etc)

2) Orwell's 1984 and Gilliam's Brazil and Moore's V for Vendetta where the perpetual war against terrorists turn out to be frauds where the terrorists are the govt.

As # 2 encompasses # 1, and as we see example after example of # 2, I'll go with 2.

 

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 10:15 | 4263531 azengrcat
azengrcat's picture

Accountability at the top, unless it is bad lol wtf why would I want the CEO job if I could not deflect the bad shit... 

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 10:18 | 4263549 chemystical
chemystical's picture

"If transactions such as these had even the slightest link to Bitcoin, there would be endless uproar, calls for countless Congressional hearings"

And if Btc was being used to tranfer funds to the IDF, Mossad, and Shin Bet to assist in the white phosphorous immolation of Palestinean children, the sniper murder of the press who attempt to report it, the bombing of UN observation outposts, crushing American citizens with bulldozers, etc, it would be subsidized by Congress.  No, better yet, it would be called....the USD.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 13:33 | 4264262 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

It's already a great tool for undercover operations.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 10:23 | 4263557 mydogisprettier...
mydogisprettierthanyou's picture

Im confused. Did they pay 1.9bil or 32k?

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 10:24 | 4263567 kralizec
kralizec's picture

Derka! Derka!

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 10:30 | 4263580 CuttingEdge
CuttingEdge's picture

So how much will the CIA get fined for supplying Al Ciaida in Syria?

Measured in that context I'm fine with 32k.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 10:36 | 4263608 tony wilson
tony wilson's picture

the hezbollah are not terrorists.

thank god because they are really pretty good fighters just ask israel ask the idf.

ask them about the merkva tanks going bang bang during a nasty fire fight.

they kicked the cia,mossad,sas,mi6,saudi and filthy turk in syria.

they kill the followers of cia agent osama bin laden.

in fact they want peace they sure would make a better recipients for the corrupt nobel peace prize.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 13:31 | 4264253 Overfed
Overfed's picture

Yep. Hezbollah are fighting against the the CIA-backed Al-Qaeda in Syria. I guess the real question is: who is sending them $$?

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 16:42 | 4265185 are we there yet
are we there yet's picture

I do not recall ever seeing an arab organization that was not somehow coopted as a terrorist organization. Except perhaps the red cressant, a mirror of the red cross.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 10:46 | 4263638 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

   This is really just covert ops.by CIA/NSA to bug all homes purchased with illicit cash for future confiscation. /sarc

  Keeping Amerika safe one mortgage at a time...

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 10:47 | 4263642 22winmag
22winmag's picture

100 years ago it was JPM illegally financing WWI ... nothing new to see here.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 10:57 | 4263673 mercy
mercy's picture

And,

That $32,400 is probably tax deductable.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 10:58 | 4263683 swmnguy
swmnguy's picture

Does anybody other than the US and Israel consider Hezbollah to be terrorists?  Honest question, not snark.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 11:11 | 4263720 joak
joak's picture

Well, they make the "list", so... I will tell it out loud : Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization, merely a resistance group, and not fanatics, despite what people think (they mix up Hezbollah and Al Qaeda I guess). Anybody who listened to some Hassan Nasrallah's speeches would agree I think, he is far from the crazy mollahs calling for the destruction of Syria.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 12:40 | 4264034 Rafferty
Rafferty's picture

The bought and paid for political and media whores scattered around the globe.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 11:03 | 4263697 rp1
rp1's picture

So what are you going to do about it?  Talk?  Make sure you talk to a person that matters.  Or convince some people more powerful than you.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 11:15 | 4263742 Gromit
Gromit's picture

Seems unfair to accuse HSBC for "helping to finance terrorists" when their only "crime" is to process an international financial transaction, which may look no different to the bank from many thousands of legitimate transactions.

I mean, really, what's next?   Is 7-11 guilty of nourishing and sustaining terrorists?   Does the phone company facilitate criminal converstions?   Are airlines human traffickers when terrorists fly?

How is HSBC supposed to be able to identify terrorists?  Isn't that a function of law enforcement?

Come on now do we want corporate managers to be waterboarded so that they can explain each wire transfer?

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 11:29 | 4263773 Son of Captain Nemo
Son of Captain Nemo's picture

In the infamous words of Alvin Hellerstein -"What's Building 7"?

Good man that Lanny Breuer.  He'll definitely keep us all "safe" by getting to the bottom of this!

Is it merely coincidence or do the usual suspects on the bench and in key positions at the DOJ always pop up to do cover up the worst graft possible?

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 11:36 | 4263788 JR
JR's picture

Perhaps “terrorist” should be defined in the eye of the beholder…i.e., the victim.

I find that the word “terrorist” in superpower lingo now means “enemy” of the U.S. /Israel.  The jets and helicopter gunships in the air are us…the “others” are militants, our enemy, i.e., the “terrorists on the ground.”

As homeless Palestinian children watch in silence as illegal Israeli settlers build their homes atop the ruins of the children’s family homes, confiscated and destroyed by the ever advancing Israelis, protest at last begins… a protest by scholars immediately condemned by ADL’s Abe Foxman as an “attack on academic freedom”… in “the only democratic country in the Middle East where scholarship and debate are encouraged and flourish,” and condemned by the pro-Israel World Jewish Congress as "moral bankruptcy" on the part of the professors.

Scholars' group (of 5000) backs boycott of Israel

NEW YORK TIMES

December 17, 2013

An association of American professors with almost 5,000 members has voted to endorse an academic boycott of Israeli colleges and universities, the group announced Monday, making it the largest academic group in the United States to back a growing movement to isolate Israel over its treatment of Palestinians.

The group, the American Studies Association, said that its members approved the boycott resolution by 2-to-1 in online balloting that concluded Sunday night, with about a quarter of the members voting. Previously, on Dec. 4, the association's national council had voted unanimously in favor of a boycott resolution, before putting the issue to its members. It's the first time that the association has called for an academic boycott of any nation's universities, said Curtis Marez, the group's president and an associate professor of ethnic studies at the University of California, San Diego.

"The resolution is in solidarity with scholars and students deprived of their academic freedom and it aspires to enlarge that freedom for all, including Palestinians," the American Studies Association said Monday.

The statement cited "Israel's violations of international law and U.N. resolutions; the documented impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian scholars and students; the extent to which Israeli institutions of higher education are a party to state policies that violate human rights."

The vote came despite a statement last week by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, that his government's stance is to boycott Israeli businesses and other activities in the occupied territories, but not in Israel itself.

The movement to cut off relations with Israeli academic and cultural institutions dates back a decade, but organizers say it was not until April that an American academic group of any size, the Association for Asian American Studies, endorsed a boycott.

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/nation-world/nation/article/Scholars-group-backs-boycott-of-Israel-5069643.php

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 12:06 | 4263916 Son of Captain Nemo
Son of Captain Nemo's picture

And oh how Israel is trying to hasten their demise with the "final solution".  All of this including what ASA is doing is a smoke screen.

Thousands will die of acute dysentery and disease as well as starvation until a world criminal court other than the Hague does it's responsible duty in calling Israel the "Third Reich" of the Middle East with their crimes against humanity.  The U.S. Government has there back, and until you throw the criminals in D.C. in jail or other the demise of Palestine will only get worse.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 11:37 | 4263796 Blue Horshoe Lo...
Blue Horshoe Loves Annacott Steel's picture

So, let me get this straight.  Funding & arming Al-CIAda in Syria is OK, but funding Hezbollah is not?

Hezbollah hasn't attacked us, but they have attacked the terrorist state of Israel. Oh, that's not OK!  Funding a group that attacks America =OK, Isreal = not OK.  Who's government is this then?

The US government = hypocrite.  The US government now = traitor to the Constitution.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 12:38 | 4264030 DYS
DYS's picture

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 13:00 | 4264122 highwaytoserfdom
highwaytoserfdom's picture

The banks are the terrorist!

Who Financed Terrorists? Somthing smellin  Sellin Yellen

 

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 13:48 | 4264356 Element
Element's picture

 

 

"But when HSBC is caught doing it, what happens? A $32,400 settlement."

 

Come on, how can you even call that, "a slap on the wrist"? It's smaller than the average HSBC Friday 'liquid'-lunch bar-tab.

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 15:29 | 4264892 ToNYC
ToNYC's picture

A penny for your thoughts crimes.

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