Tag Archives: HSBC

HSBC CEO: My Pay Was so Outrageous I Had to Use Tax Havens to Hide it from My Peers

By William K. Black
Quito, Ecuador: January 23, 2015

Greetings from Quito, where I will be spending four months teaching at IAEN about effective regulation and building ties with UMKC.

The latest twists on the latest HSBC tax evasion and tax avoidance scandal is that it has come out that Stuart Gulliver, HSBC’s head, put his money where his mouth wasn’t. He personally used double tax havens – Panama plus Switzerland – to hide his income and wealth from view because his pay was so outrageous that even other HSBC executives would have been outraged by it. The New York Times’ account of this tale demonstrates that Gulliver needs to fire Gulliver as his spokesperson.

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The HSBC Scandal: A Red Flag for U.S. Regulators?

NEP’s Bill Black appears on Knowledge@Wharton discussing the HSBC scandal with Jennifer Blouin. You can see the story and hear the podcast here.

 

Bill Black appears on Background Briefing

NEP’s Bill Black appears on Ian Masters’ Background Briefing discussing HSBC and the tax dodging it facilitated for its customers. You can listen here.

The City of London is so Criminogenic That It Boggles Even Its Banking Apologists

By William K. Black
Bloomington, MN: February 11, 2015

HSBC’s most recent scandal is the perfect holiday gift. Whatever genre of entertainment one favors – from blood diamonds to drug cartels to rollicking royals to sport stars HSBC was happy to aid the wealthiest stars of your genre to illegally evade their taxes. Taxes were once termed the price we paid for civilization, but they now represent the price the wealthy brag to each other about refusing to pay as they pillage civilization. Because the City of London “won” the “regulatory race to the bottom” it is the worst “vector” for the epidemic of sleaze led by our most elite bankers. Oh, sorry, I let reality intrude in that last sentence.

The “respectable” government people in the UK and the U.S. (and Ireland) insist that we are experiencing the first virgin crisis – consisting of hundreds of thousands of fraudulent transactions by bankers – in which not a single CEO of the largest banks knew that his bank was a massive criminal enterprise. The long-running (anti) morality play with an extended run in each of these three nations claims that we are experiencing the first “Virgin Crisis” conceived without sin in these bank C-Suites. In every case, the bank CEOs – paid like Croesus because they are financial geniuses and managerial wizards – has been bamboozled by the tiny folks in the banks’ “org charts.” Such a betrayal of the trust that the elite bank CEOs reposed in these unworthy junior officers and employees! The pain of the elite bank CEOs is palpable – having their reputation besmirched by their ungrateful and immoral lesser. We’ll put aside who it is that crafts the perverse incentives that created the City of London’s (and Wall Street’s) corrupt financial cultures for the same reason that the CEOs’ apologists put aside that unsettling question.

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Bill Black and Alexis Goldstein on HuffPost Live

NEP’s Bill Black appears along with Alexis Goldstein on HuffPost Live with Alyona Minkovski. They are discussing HSBC and it’s latest mess – helping rich customers hide billions of dollars and avoid paying millions of dollars in taxes. You can watch the interview here.

The New York Times Butchers the Story of How Treasury Got NPR to Censor My Criticism of It

By William K. Black

We have further proof about how thin-skinned Treasury Secretary Geithner was, but we have it in the form of a weird May 29, 2013 story by Ben Protess in the New York Times.  The story is in part about me, though it doesn’t mention me, because it is a story that notes that Treasury was able to convince NPR to remove from its December 13, 2013 broadcast a statement I made criticizing Geithner – an action that NPR took and noted, but without naming me as the source of the criticism.  The weird part of the NYT story is that while it confirms the accuracy of the statement I made about Geithner it asserts that the statement by the unidentified “academic” criticizing Geithner was false.  Continue reading

How Dare DOJ Insult HSBC’s Crooks as Less “Professional” than Liberty Reserve’s Crooks?

By William K. Black

Standard Chartered and HSBC’s leaders must be doubly humiliated by the description by Mythili Raman, the acting head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Criminal Division, of Liberty Reserve’s money laundering operation.  UK laws are, of course, very congenial to those suing for libel and I am sure that these banking titans are meeting with their solicitors to demand a retraction and apology from Raman.  In the very first clause of her May 28, 2013 statement to the media on the actions against Liberty Reserve’s controlling officers, Raman emphasized how “professional” they were as money launderers:  “Today, we strike a severe blow against a professional money laundering enterprise charged with laundering over $6 billion in criminal proceeds.”   In four paragraphs, she used the word “professional” three times and “sophisticated” once to describe Liberty Reserve’s money laundering.  Continue reading

Did Obama and Cameron require HSBC to aid the prosecution of Tax Frauds?

By William K. Black
(Cross posted at Benzinga.com)

I have explained in prior columns that HSBC is not only a criminal enterprise, but also a recidivist of epic proportions.  The U.S. and the U.K. have refused to prosecute not only HSBC, but even its officers who directed the frauds and covered them up from the U.S. government.  The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) claimed that one of the reasons it failed to prosecute was that HSBC gave it “immediate, full cooperation.” Continue reading

The Second Great Betrayal: Obama and Cameron Decide that Banks are above the Law

By William K. Black

One of the “tells” that reveals how embarrassed Lanny Breuer (head of the Criminal Division) and Eric Holder (AG) are by the disgraceful refusal to prosecute HSBC and its officers for their tens of thousands of felonies are the false and misleading statements made by the Department of Justice (DOJ) about the settlement.  The same pattern has been demonstrated by other writers in the case of the false and disingenuous statistics DOJ has trumpeted to attempt to disguise the abject failure of their efforts to prosecute the elite officers who directed the “epidemic” (FBI 2004) of mortgage fraud.

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Why did Obama and Cameron save a Criminal Enterprise like HSBC?

By William K. Black

Why is HSBC still in operation?  On the same day (December 10, 2012) that the Obama administration leaked the story of the HSBC settlement a story ran in the New York Times that was full of self-praise by the Obama and Cameron (U.K.) governments for their “cooperative approach” to cracking down on systemically dangerous institutions (SDIs).  SDIs are treated as “too big to fail” because they pose a global systemic risk when they fail.  The HSBC settlement puts the lie to the Obama/Cameron crack-down on the SDIs for it revealed a disgrace – Obama and Cameron treat the SDIs as too big to prosecute.  Indeed, HSBC demonstrates that the SDIs’ senior officers are treated by Obama and Cameron as too elite to prosecute.   The propaganda meme of the NYT story – that the SDIs would never again be given special favors due to reforms being adopted by Obama and Cameron – lasted four hours before it was destroyed by the disgraceful reality of the Obama and Cameron governments’ refusal to prosecute HSBC and its officers for their tens of thousands of felonies.

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