Such are world’s finest “Royal Academies of Cronies” – companies or cozy groups producing and exporting many replicas to the so-called 9th (third?) world, think ROI success chant of our own desi Oscars, संता-बंता Leaders, Chatur Bania and Padmas! The powerful bank is in the news for attempting to suppress a report into money laundering. This is no surprise as the company’s entire history, right up to the present day, is one of financing drug cartels. HSBC is not known for its transparency.
Britain’s wealthiest company, with a stock market valuation of $215 billion, has enough advertising muscle in the British press to ensure that critical investigative pieces have been spiked in both the Sunday Times & Daily Telegraph – in latter case, causing its chief political commentator to resign in protest, which anyway is much rare in modern paid media age.
Then last year, the bank’s friends in the Swiss government sentenced the whistle blower who exposed the bank’s massive facilitation of tax avoidance to five years in prison, the longest sentence ever demanded by the country’s public ministry for a banking data theft case. And back in 2011, HSBC was revealed to be the UK financial sector’s most enthusiastic user of tax havens, with no less than 556 subsidiary companies based in offshore jurisdictions. Tax havens, as leading expert Nicholas Shaxson notes, “are characterized by secrecy… what they are fundamentally about is escape – escape from the rules, laws, regulations of jurisdictions elsewhere. You move your money offshore and you can then escape the laws that you don’t like”.
Little wonder, then, that wherever you look – from Afghanistan to Kosovo to Libya, to Mexico, and Colombia, and even #UdtaPunjab – the policies of the world’s leading financial centers and its public or hidden proxies serve to boost the production, distribution and profitability of lucrative drugs trade apart from generic loot from small depositors, entrepreneurs and investors. And little wonder that such “financial terrorist” groups keep their money laundering checks to themselves. These are clearly institutions with much to hide – leaks, scam hypes & papers only expose tip of rotten mountains, they have no national or ethical boundaries.