The banking giant HSBC has escaped indictment for laundering billions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels and groups linked to al-Qaeda. Despite evidence of wrongdoing, the U.S. Department of Justice has allowed the bank to avoid prosecution and pay a $1.9 billion fine. No top HSBC officials will face charges, either. We're joined by Rolling Stone Contributing Editor Matt Taibbi, author of "Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History." "You can do real time in jail in America for all kinds of ridiculous offenses," Taibbi says. "Here we have a bank that laundered $800 million dollars of drug money and they can't find a way to put anybody in jail for that? That sends an incredible message, not just to the financial sector, but to everybody. It's an obvious, clear double standard where one set of people gets to break the rules as much as they want and another set of people can't break any rules at all without going to jail."
Published on Dec 13, 2012