Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Bankers' Prison?

Not going to jail for pocketing billions. 
That strange concept occurred to me after reading about the scandal at the HSBC bank, which laundered many millions in money from drug sales, as well as outlawed organizations and nations. HSBC, too, is apparently only an example of widespread practices in the banking industry.

So I Googled combinations of 'banking executives' and 'money laundering' and 'prison' - and came up quite empty. I did find one case - from 1994. I'm sure there have been others since, but they seem to be very few.

In contrast, of course, innumerable poor people have gone to prison for cultivating a patch of coca or marijuana plants, or smuggling a few ounces of a prohibited psychoactive substance.

The inequity is huge and obvious, but the solution difficult as long as wealthy bankers can hide behind teams of lawyers and corporate shields.

One solution would make everything more equal, however: Decriminalize drugs, and make their profits just as licit as those from whiskey, tobacco and orange juice.

Then, banks would have one less thing to worry about, governments would have lots more taxes, and lots of poor people would get out of jail.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

1 comment:

mauricio forero l said...

Excellent post Mike!!

Mauricio Forero