HSBC Slammed by US

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by eric/, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. eric/ Guest

    eric/

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    #1
    Links to money laundering to Iran, Mexican cartels:

    Link

    Pretty big deal, imo. I bet if some banks are doing it, others may be as well.

    This is significant, because it highlights a disinterest in social responsibility, and lack of oversight continuing among big banks.

    Will this hurt US - UK relations at all?
     
  2. flopticalcube, Dec 10, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012

    flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #2
    This is not the story. The story is that they choose not to prosecute because HSBC is "too big" and, apparently, if some of its senior executives went to prison for some reason the entire financial network could be in peril. :rolleyes:

    http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/12...1-9-billion-settlement-over-money-laundering/

    They laundered 7b and got a 1.9b fine. 7 - 1.9 > 0 therefore profit! This is the new business model for the 21st century.
     
  3. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #3
    It's ridiculous that they'd simply settle something like this. It should have been fines + prosecution of anyone involved regardless of whether they remain with the company.
     
  4. jeremy h, Dec 11, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012

    jeremy h macrumors 6502

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    #4
    This has been bubbling away in the news for a few months here along with some other US prosecutions of UK banks. I think the deal here in this particular one that as everything has to be ultimately settled in US dollars the US can have oversight of transactions not even conducted in the US? (But could be wrong about that).

    I'm certainly not keen on our banks and their behaviour but there is a feeling among those who think about this in the UK that it's odd that that the various recent prosecutions (for all sorts of issues) seem to be pretty much targeted at UK banks and some foreign ones. Most weird that.

    After all, it's common knowledge that the American banking industry has been a paragon of fiscal and legal rectitude and a model for us all to follow.
     
  5. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #5
    I don't think that this will hurt the special relationship, if all the friendly fire incidents didn't I cannot see a bank's profit doing anything.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._friendly-fire_incidents_since_1945_with_British_victims
    Well I would say this is the price you pay for doing business in the US. After all BP was railroaded into paying a vast fine, after an American company caused the explosion.

    Of course you are quite used to getting a short stick from the US, look at Lend Lease back in WWII, you only finished paying it off in 2006.

    Germany was given the money to rebuild.:D
     
  6. jeremy h macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I'm not sure about the this particular HSBC case, but I thought one of the big gripes recently was that the US can come after you if the business wasn't done in the US - as both parties to the deal have to eventually settle in in US dollars.

    Not sure what the friendly fire stuff has to do with anything ...

    But fair point about the lend lease business though. That was deliberate US policy to take us apart economically after the war. My Dad worked in the car industry all his life and moaned they had to work with clapped out wartime factories while the Germans got shiny new ones paid for by the US.
     
  7. VulchR, Dec 11, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012

    VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #7
    Warning: some off topic material

    Frankly, I hope this post and yours get edited to remove the off-topic information. In any case, perhaps you could post a link that describes the accuracy of combat troops compared to others, or perhaps the relative rate of friendly fire incidents in US troops versus others per person-hour in combat.:rolleyes:

    With regard to the Marshall plan, didn't the Netherlands get something like $1,128,000,000 from 1948-1951? Not sure when that was paid back....

    Agreed.

    The UK received $3,297,000,000 from 1948-1951. That was more than any other country, and more than twice the amount received by Germany. I swear Europeans are engaging in more and more anti-US historical revisionism every day.... Perhaps you would have preferred the economic policies of that the Soviet Union pursued in Eastern Europe.


    Back to the thread:

    A journalist for the BBC made the point that customers will pay for all these fines against banks (laundering, illegal selling of insurance etc.). If so then it would be an injustice compounded. These fines should be recouped from the greedy managers who were responsible for the deals. Justice will be served only if all of their money and property is confiscated to pay off this fine.
     
  8. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #8
    This was put in to show that if split blood didn't break up the friendship then money would not.

    Lend lease, it was the talking point here in Europe in the mid 1960's the leaders of Europe always warned of being friends with the US, because look what happened to Britain.
    France Netherlands Italy Germany etc were given very generous loans after the war was over but you as number one ally where still paying.
    The way that the British were treated formed the stand off approach that Europe still has with the US.
     
  9. eric/ thread starter Guest

    eric/

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    #9
    Yeah that's the worst part. I'm not sure though if I like the precedent of going after individual managers, unless they knowingly assisted in the laundering of money.

    But I think overall there needs to start being accountability at the highest levels of these banks.
     
  10. jeremy h, Dec 11, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012

    jeremy h macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Look, it's perfectly possible I'm wrong about the figures. If so I'll hold up my hands and admit it. Lend Lease was always a bone of contention here. Without going too far off topic after the war we were bankrupt and Lend Lease was cancelled in 1945 and turned into a loan. That loan came with a lot of strings attached. (those strings weren't accidental small print) Our dependance on that loan and aid meant we lost a lot of control of our foreign policy. The relationship was never seen here as a generous one on the part of the US (particularly in terms of technology exchanges etc.) I've never met anyone here who thought we got a decent deal out the Second World War's settlement. That's certainly not revisionism. You may disagree and I may disagree with you but that's a discussion board isn't it?

    Back on topic...

    The OP asked whether these recent prosecutions will do for the US/UK relationship. I have no problem with British banks being prosecuted but I was merely making the point that most people I know here think that some of the US prosecutions as being somewhat one sided. Particularly if the transaction didn't happen in the States.

    You'll probably disagree but that's life.
     
  11. eric/ thread starter Guest

    eric/

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    #11
    Well, did the UK not participate in sanctioning Iran? On what grounds does the US have to fine these banks? Sheer "well, if you don't pay us you can pack up your banks in the US and go home"?
     
  12. jeremy h macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Fair enough. At no point have I said they shouldn't be prosecuted.
     
  13. eric/ thread starter Guest

    eric/

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    #13
    Sorry. I just got that impression from the last line of your post. But thanks for clearing it up!
     
  14. jeremy h macrumors 6502

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    #14
    No probs - but isn't there an issue with the US being the worlds reserve currency so this gives them effective legal jurisdiction in areas other countries have no jurisdiction. i.e. They can prosecute 'remote' transactions between two non US parties? That really was my other probably badly made point. (Which has relevance to this discussion.)
     
  15. wrkactjob macrumors 65816

    wrkactjob

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    #15
    You know that scene in the film Scarface where they are taking large black bin liner bags full of cash into the bank?....it looked laughably dodgy...what a shame nobody from HSBC had seen that film and just thought it normal Mexican business practice.


    Meanwhile at the HSBC Mexico City branch, Pedro was too tired to cash up his till.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #16
    Interesting post, and actually it is relevant to the question posted by the OP. Honestly I think the people in the UK are the most negative about US involvement in the reconstruction of Europe and I'm not quite sure why (maybe the Suez crisis?). Certainly there is a lot of resentment where I am in Scotland about the 'UK being the US's lap dog'. I assure you that that is not how most people in the US view the UK. They view the UK's foreign policy as being motivated by interests that closely parallels the US, but not controlled by the US. People in the US do not want to be in control of the UK's foreign policy, by they do appreciate an ally and the UK's culture. Frankly, the UK voters need only exercise their franchise if they want changes.

    With respect to the US being able to prosecute companies outside of the US, I believe that many people posting above are mistaken about the extent of US law. The US cannot regulate banks outside of the US. However, the US does require that banks that operate in the US comply with US law (not so odd when you think about it). If the banks don't like that, they can pull out of the US, and only profit motive has prevented them from doing so. By the way, this requirement is used to track down US overseas tax dodgers by requiring banks to hand over the bank account details of all overseas US citizens, myself included. Perhaps the UK should enact similar laws to get their tax dodgers.....
     

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