It's good to be back in the USA, even if the world seems to have gone hell in a handbasket in my absence. I'm going to keep my distance from the big stories that have exploded through our media in the last few weeks, because there's not much I can say that will be constructive, original, and/or helpful.
And so, we arrive at HSBC, that multi-billion dollar firm that was found to be involved in a whole slew of questionable projects. Despite a mountain of evidence, HSBC was given a deal by which they paid a little over a billion dollars in fines (less than 10% of their profits from last year).
This is another stark contrast to the flesh-and-blood person and the corporate person in America. While an organic person would have been locked up for money laundering schemes of this magnitude, HSBC gets away with next-to-nothing in repurcussions for their actions. And the reason? According to the NY Times, "State and federal authorities decided against indicting HSBC in a money-laundering case over concerns that criminal charges could jeopardize one of the world’s largest banks and ultimately destabilize the global financial system."