Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Beyond the Peter Prinicple

I believe my post of a few days ago (An Inadvertent Truth) about the vast money laundering operation of British bank, HSBC, made clear that I don't really buy the idea that money laundering by the big banks is an 'accidental' occurrence. In research for a different post, coming soon, I happened upon a 2010 video of none other than Stuart Levey, the new sheriff in HSBC-town. You know--the guy HSBC hired last month as its "expert in money laundering."

In this video from the Charlie Rose Show in October 2010, Mr. Levey, who has recently found himself and undoubtedly lucrative position as Chief Legal Office of HSBC, talked in his role as Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. He's held that job since 2004, when he was appointed by President GW Bush. In the interview, he talks at length, describing his job as financially impeding "threats" to the US like drug organizations, terrorist organizations, and "rogue regimes" by keeping private businesses from doing business with them.

In other words, Mr. Levey was the guy who was, from 2004 until a month ago, in charge of seeing to it that banks like HSBC didn't do exactly what it has now been found to have done. Interestingly, having totally failed in his job with the Treasury to stop HSBC from laundering money, he's now been hired by HSBC to bring that expertise in-house.

May I be the first to congratulate Mr. Levey on parlaying utter incompetence into a nice, fat new job! And kudos to HSBC for showing the world just how serious they are about stopping that pesky, illegal, yet outrageously profitable practice of money laundering.

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