Taibbi's latest on HSBC's narco-hijinks: Too Big to Jail

Today's must-read long-read is Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone, with "How HSBC hooked up with drug traffickers and terrorists. And got away with it." A profile of the gangster bankers our government forgave.


  1. Anarcharsis the Scythian told Solon the law-giver that laws are like spiders’ webs; they may catch the middle-sized, but the tiny and the mighty pass through them with impunity.

    As long as inheritance and assets are but lightly taxed while income is taxed heavily, the consolidation of wealth and the formation of an aristocracy, above the reach of common law, seems inevitable.

  2. get caught with a bag of weed – go to jail.
    launder billions of dollars – keep enjoying your cushy life rather than get pushed into a volcano..

  3. Almost every time Matt Taibbi publishes one of his screed, my alcohol consumption increases…

    /I keed! 
    //Please go read it.  That and his other article about the lies, the lies, huge lies of the bankers: “Secrets and Lies of the Bailout”.
    ///Put ’em in jail.  Fines mean nothing to them.

  4. I wonder if digital information technology makes this kind of criminality visible in a way that was never possible before. Ie. the hypothesis: there has always been corruption, collusion, and criminality between banks and government, it was just less visible before. And when discovered, it might appear on page five in a newspaper. And everyone would ignore it or forget about it. With the internet, it is easier to discover and disseminate.

    On the other hand – I remember in the early 90s finding out my bank in Canada had been royally involved in shifting money for the CIA to overthrow the government of Chile in the 70s. So this kind of thing has been going on for a while. Yet HSBC does seem different. Committing crimes in the perceived “national” interest does seem quite different from committing crimes *against* the most critical national interest, in collusion with terrorists against whom we are fighting an unprecedented global *war* costing millions of lives and trillions of dollars. If a US bank did this it would be treason, which I believe gets you the death penalty.
    I think we should begin testing shutting down rogue, sociopathic, multinational banks. If banks are really too big to fail, then they need breaking up as a matter of our survival. They can’t be gangsters if we are to maintain the rule of law and keep the brutality levels down. Yet they can’t fail either. The only possibility is breaking them up and neutralising them.

  5. Here in Bangkok, I get this:

    Access Denied

    You don’t have permission to access
    on this server.
    Reference #18.54fbb4b4.1360935595.123c28a1

    Any idea what’s up?

Comments are closed.