The criminality of the banks is so gross that executives should be jailed and banking licenses should be withdrawn, reports RS citing a report from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
HSBC, said the Senate report, laundered money for Mexican drug cartels, for Iran for North Korea and for Al Quaeda charging a 20% fee for the service.
That report came out last summer. Just before Christmas, US Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, announcing a no-prosecution settlement for HSBC, said: "Had the U.S. authorities decided to press criminal charges, HSBC would almost certainly have lost its banking license in the U.S, the future of the institution would have been under threat and the entire banking system would have been destabilised."
The next charge against the banks is the LIBOR scandal. UBS, Barclays, RBS and others conspired to cheat the entire industrial and commercial world by fixing LIBOR to their advantage.
'This might be more than just a few guys messing with rates,' says RS, "it could be a systemic effort to pervert capitalism itself."
So why are governments agreeing no-prosecution deals with the banks?
The reason may be that Western governments don't want it to be universally acknowledged that capitalism has been perverted. Governments don't want public acceptance of capitalism to evaporate.
Maybe the French had a point when they elected a Socialist government last year.