"Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke" says Matt Taibbi of the Rolling Stone. He leads with "If you've ever been arrested on a drug charge, if you've ever spent even a day in jail for having a stem of marijuana in your pocket or "drug paraphernalia" in your gym bag, Assistant Attorney General and longtime Bill Clinton pal Lanny Breuer has a message for you: Bite me." Taibbi is refreshingly direct. Please read his article.
The settlement shows, in my opinion:
The excuse was "Criminal prosecution might topple the bank and endanger the financial system." If that is true (doubtful) in what condition is our financial system, even after $Trillions of bailouts? If it is not true, what does that say about the "rule of law" and corruption at the top?
Laundering $Billions in drug money is a criminal offense, but not prosecutable, if done by politically connected bankers.
If bankers are not prosecuted for "vast and prolonged" money laundering and aiding "terrorism" then we have a clear confirmation that "too big to fail" (TBTF) banks are higher up the power pyramid than government officials.
Supposedly the war on drugs is important. We have spent $Billions and put millions in jail to discourage drug use (How is that working for us?) so it must be important. But apparently it is actually not important if a TBTF bank is laundering $Billions in drug money each year (month?).
Supposedly the war on terrorism is important. We have spent $Trillions and killed many people to fight "terrorism" (How is that working for us?) so it must be important. But apparently it is not important if a TBTF bank is assisting the illegal transfer of $Billions to terrorist organizations.
So Now We Know!
TBTF Bankers are higher up the power and greed pyramid than government officials and regulators.
Ordinary tax-paying citizens are on the bottom of the power and greed pyramid - as usual.
Immunity from prosecution can be purchased by those high on the pyramid.
Prosecution for money laundering of drug money only applies to ordinary citizens and lower level people. High level bankers are exempt.
The war on terror only applies to citizens and "unacceptable" countries, but not high level bankers.
And who or what is higher than the TBTF banks on the power and greed pyramid? Central Bankers create the dollars / euros / whatever with a computer entry, lend it to TBTF banks at approximately 0%, who lend it out for student loans, credit card debt, commercial real estate and hundreds of other purposes at substantial interest rates. Bankers get the bonuses, we get the debt and the economy hums along, until it becomes overloaded with debt, such as in 2008. Central Banks are the next level up on the pyramid. And the final level is the BIS - The Bank for International Settlements - the Central Bank of Central Banks.
From Chris Martenson (regarding the Bank for International Settlements - The B.I.S.):
"Once upon a time, it would have been considered in bad taste to suggest that the world was being centrally managed in secret by a small-ish cabal of bankers whose actions served to either prop up the excessive spending habits of the very governments that conferred upon them the power to print money, or to bolster the health and profits of the banks they mainly serve.
That was then. Today you can just read about it in the Wall Street Journal:" (December 12, 2012: Inside the Risky Bets of Central Banks)
"BASEL, Switzerland - Every two months, more than a dozen bankers meet here on Sunday evenings to talk and dine on the 18th floor of a cylindrical building looking out on the Rhine.
The dinner discussions on money and economics are more than academic. At the table are the chiefs of the world's biggest central banks, representing countries that annually produce more than $51 Trillion of gross domestic product, three-quarters of the world's economic output...
If the central bankers are correct, they will help the world economy avoid prolonged stagnation and a repeat of central banking mistakes in the 1930s. If they are wrong, they could kindle inflation or sow the seeds of another financial crisis." (emphasis mine - the DI)
Martenson goes on to say, "If it feels like you are part of a very grand, high-stakes experiment, congratulations! You're exactly right. We are all collectively prisoner to whatever outcomes are in store."
Peter Schiff interprets the actions of The Fed as follows:
"In order to generate phony economic growth and to "pay" our country's debts in the most dishonest manner possible, the Federal Reserve is 100% committed to the destruction of the dollar. Anyone with wealth in the U.S. dollar should be concerned that economic leadership is firmly in the hands of irresponsible bureaucrats who are committed to an ivory tower version of reality that bears no resemblance to the world as it really is."
But it will be profitable for the banks and it will help maintain the status quo of the power and greed pyramid! What are you doing to protect your assets?
The Power and Greed Pyramid - www.deviantinvestor.com
The only way to win, unless you live high up in the power and greed pyramid, is not to play the paper game. At this point in the deficit spending, unpayable debt, and political gridlock process, there is little choice, so The Fed is destroying the purchasing power of the dollar.
Gold has risen about 15% per year since 1/1/2000 - thirteen years. Do you trust gold or central bank paper? The Chinese and Russian Central Banks are aggressively accumulating gold. Are you?