This is why bankers were deemed to big to fail…because they are laundering money into the pockets of politicians. Case in point, Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Sputnik News Agency reports…
The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation received $81 million from various international donors who were clients of HSBC’s Swiss division in Geneva, the Guardian reports.
Donors include the Canadian mining magnate Frank Giustra whose contributions total at least $50 million. Richard Caring, a British retail clothing magnate and club owner, donated $1 million to the Clintons’ foundation in exchange for Bill Clinton’s attendance at an opulent St. Petersburg gala.
Caring came under scrutiny after it came to light that he had made a $3.4 million cash withdrawal from HSBC at one point. “I appreciate it was a large amount of money but I was put in that position at the time because the people I was dealing with did not want to use HSBC in a particular transaction,” he later told the Daily Mail.
Seven of the HSBC accounts whose details were recently leaked to journalists matched records in a database released in 2008 by the Clintons’ foundation in response to conflict-of-interest concerns raised during Hillary’s presidential campaign. Under US law, foundations don’t normally have to disclose the names of donors.
Representatives of both Giustra and Caring said their Swiss HSBC accounts complied with all applicable law, and neither has been accused of being part of the tax evasion scandal currently plaguing the world’s second largest bank.
As Hillary Clinton is widely expected to enter the 2016 presidential race, her and her family’s connections to such wealthy international mega-donors may not play well in a campaign likely to run up against debates about income inequality.
The accusations swirling around HSBC only intensified over the weekend with the leaking of a massive trove of secret documents detailing more than 30,000 accounts that contained more than $120 billion over the years 2005-2007.
The documents show that HSBC’s Swiss division had apparently helped its clients cheat their country’s tax systems, handled huge sums of cash with minimal questions asked, colluded with some clients to conceal their undeclared “black” accounts, and provided accounts to international criminals, corrupt businessmen and other high-risk individuals.
The documents were leaked by bank employee Herve Falciani who downloaded them illegally before fleeing to France.
HSBC has been under investigation by the US government for years, and in 2012 was fined $1.9 billion when it was found to have laundered money for Mexican drug cartels and violated US sanctions.
“The government comes down hard on individuals who break the law time after time, and it should do the same for large financial institutions, “ said Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts on Tuesday.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.