Capitalism 101. Someone wants a product. Someone else produces that product. Person who wants the product that was produced purchases the product. Person who made the product gets the money from the person who bought the product. Rinse and repeat.
That is basically how it goes. Whether it is legal or against the law. Such is the case of the tragedy of the “drug war” that has led to more than 50,000 deaths in recent years. This is the case: People want drugs from Mexico (mostly marijuana, cocaine, and heroin) and people will pay for drugs. The vast majority of those drugs are sold in the United States. According to the United States government’s own report, “the illegal drug market in the United States is one of the most profitable in the world.” Yes, people of the United States, there is a market for drugs here in this country, and since they are not legal, you have criminals who will participate in this market to make profit since in the end, the drug market is just another part of capitalism.
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Enter the latest criminal of the drug market: the American division of HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, Yesterday, HSBC basically admitted in front of the US Senate that its American division had indeed been laundering money for Mexican drug cartels for over seven years. As a result, HSBC’s chief compliance officer resigned from the company and more questions will need to be answered. Here is what CBS News reported yesterday:
The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations extensive report on HSBC Holdings PLC also says U.S. regulators knew that the bank had a poor system to detect problems but failed to take action.
In addition, some bank affiliates skirted U.S. government bans against financial transactions with Iran and other countries, according to the report. And HSBC’s U.S. division provided money and banking services to some banks in Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh believed to have helped fund al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, the report said.
The panel released the report Monday ahead of a Tuesday hearing on the topic. HSBC released a statement saying its executives will offer a formal apology at the hearing.
“We will apologize, acknowledge these mistakes, answer for our actions and give our absolute commitment to fixing what went wrong,” the bank said in a statement. The U.S. Justice Department said that it is conducting a criminal investigation into HSBC’s operations but declined to confirm that the bank is in settlement talks.
HSBC’s chief compliance officer, David Bagley, told the Senate panel that he is stepping down from that position, although he will remain at the bank. Bagley and other current and former executives of the bank apologized for lapses, but said they weren’t fully aware of illicit transactions flowing through the bank.
Senators expressed skepticism that they didn’t know about problems that persisted for seven years.
We are thinking that apologies will not be enough for the many people who have suffered from a drug war that quite frankly, we have lost a long time ago. When is enough enough? When will people in the US express their outrage against all this? A major bank laundered drug dealer money and then when they got caught, they apologize like a little 4-year-old? This is the hypocrisy of this country: we get all the Patriots riled up about border crossings, drug smuggling, border fences, protecting national security, but then American bankers are taking the money from the so-called “criminals” who are “destroying” our “American way of life.” The fact is that Americans LOVE drugs, and many American bankers LOVE money. That is the tragedy here. On one hand, we barinwash the Patriots to PROTECT US FROM THE MEXICANS, when it in fact, MANY ARE MAKING MONEY FROM THOSE MEXICANS.
It is time to just legalize it. The criminals are winning, even when they caught.