HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver admitted that he used two secretive banks — one in Switzerland, the other in Panama — not just to avoid taxes, but to hide his amazing compensation package from other HSBC bankers, lest they wax jealous.
Yes, the HSBC CEO just said openly that he felt a desperate, personal need to be "protect[ed] "from the Swiss bank" – by which he means HSBC. He felt a similar need to be "protect[ed]" "from his Hong Kong colleagues" at HSBC. Any HSBC customer victimized by HSBC's PPI and "swap" rip offs of customers and any UK taxpayer ripped off by the tax evasion emporium run for the powerful and wealthy out of that same HSBC "Swiss bank" can empathize with Gulliver. HSBC customers and non-elite UK taxpayers all feel a desperate need to be "protect[ed]" from HSBC – and Gulliver.
What Gulliver was so desperate to have "protect[ed]" from his "HSBC colleagues" was knowledge of his pay. He knew his pay was so excessive that it would outrage even HSBC's senior managers. Remember this event when the next bank CEO rails against the "politics of envy." The insanely jealous people that Gulliver feared were his peers, because even in the corrupt culture of HSBC he stood out for his greed.
Only a few things would need to be true to make this nearly perfect story the perfect story of the inevitable result of the City of London "winning" the regulatory "race to the bottom" and becoming the financial cesspool of the world – while being praised by the business press (even the Guardian).
HSBC CEO – My Pay Was so Outrageous I Had to Use Tax Havens to Hide it from My Peers [Bill Black/Naked Capitalism]
(Image: Stuart T. Gulliver, World Economic Forum)