If only there were some laws about this


Oh wait, I forgot! We don’t prosecute bankers unless they’re middle management:

The US government will come under intense pressure this week to explain what action it took after receiving a massive cache of leaked data that revealed how the Swiss banking arm of HSBC, the world’s second-largest bank, helped wealthy customers conceal billions of dollars of assets.

The leaked files, which reveal how HSBC advised some clients on how to circumvent domestic tax authorities, were obtained through an international collaboration of news outlets, including the Guardian, the French daily Le Monde, CBS 60 Minutes and the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The files reveal how HSBC’s Swiss private bank colluded with some clients to conceal undeclared “black” accounts from domestic tax authorities across the world and provided services to international criminals and other high-risk individuals.

The disclosure amounts to one of the biggest banking leaks in history shedding light on some 30,000 accounts holding almost $120bn (£78bn) of assets. Of those, around 2,900 clients were connected to the US, providing the IRS with a trail of evidence of potential American taxpayers who may have been hiding assets in Geneva.

The data was leaked by a computer expert turned whistleblower working in HSBC’s Geneva office. French authorities later obtained the files and shared them with the US Internal Revenue Service in 2010. That year, amid growing scrutiny from US tax authorities, HSBC’s private bank in Switzerland stopped doing business with US residents entirely.

The US Department of Justice and IRS have been investigating HSBC’s Swiss banking operations ever since but the scale of those inquiries remain unclear.

2 thoughts on “If only there were some laws about this

  1. The problem is that we have (1) too many laws and (2) too many lawyers willing to litigate.
    Speaking of litigation the Koch’s are now in the business of suing federal and state governments because the are not giving enough ‘taxpayer dollars’ to certain companies. Aren’t the Koch’s against “big government?”
    Big oil, gas and coal firms (the business of Koch) do not want renewable energy companies to succeed and steal away their customers. Nor do they want their federal and state subsidies to disappear and to be given to renewable energy companies.
    So the Koch’s have funded lawyers to help companies like Fuel Cell Energy to sue the state of Delaware. That state is helping fund Bloom Energy set up the country’s first industrial-scale production of electricity from hydrogen fuel cells.
    With the help of the Koch’s money, Fuel Cell Energy has hired lawyers and is claiming that the state of Delaware has entered into “a corrupt insider deal” with Bloom Energy.
    For all intents and purposes and because of the Koch’s we may never see the country’s first industrial-scale production of electricity in Delaware. And because of the chilling effect anywhere else anytime soon.
    Ain’t Capitalists and their lawyers grand?

  2. So to the too big banks we can now add 2900 too big non-taxpayers. Actually I would hazard that it’s really 2899 and Mitt Romney who took an amnesty to cover his presidential aspirations.

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