Stephen Colbert on HSBC wrist slap

We've written a number of times about the seemingly nonstop revelation of banking scandals coming to light recently, including HSBC's admission of laundering money for Mexican drug cartels and violating international banking sanctions. Additionally, we've pointed out the slap-on-the-wrist fines these banks have received. HSBC received a $1.9 billion fine for its wrongdoings, which sounds impressive until you find out its profits last year were close to $17 billion.

Although the story broke in early December, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert discussed HSBC's fine earlier this week with the Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi. One thing that has become clear is that not only are these mega-banks too-big-to-fail, but they also are too-big-to-prosecute. Apparently the only thing you need to do to avoid jail time for committing a crime is to make yourself an integral part of the way society functions.

We thought you might enjoy seeing what Colbert and Taibbi had to say on the subject, so the video is below. After you watch it, let us know what you think. Who ultimately should be held responsible for these scandals? What should be the appropriate punishment?

About the Author
Michael McFarlin

Michael McFarlin joined Futures in 2010 after graduating summa cum laude from Trinity International University, where he majored in English/Communication. With the launch of the new web platform, Michael serves as web editor for the site and will continue to work on the magazine, where he focuses on the Markets and Trading 101 features. He also served as a member of the Wisconsin National Guard from 2007 to 2010.

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