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Out of the Blue

Well, we're on take-two of our car situation after our mechanic replaced the switch that turns the dome light on and off when the driver-side door is opened and closed. He charged the battery and let it sit overnight and says it didn't lose any voltage, and it started fine today when we tried it, so maybe this was fixed that easily. It will be neat if it was, as it cost all of $65.00 (not counting a new battery) after we were concerned that we had developed one of those electrical gremlins that ends up requiring the car being replaced, which doesn't seem implausible for a ten-year-old car.

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10. Now you see that evil will always triumph.. because good is dumb Jan 5, 2013, 22:23 Orphic Resonance
 
Federal and state authorities have chosen not to indict HSBC, the London-based bank, on charges of vast and prolonged money laundering, for fear that criminal prosecution would topple the bank and, in the process, endanger the financial system.

It doesn't take a genius to see that the reasoning here is beyond flawed. When you decide not to prosecute bankers for billion-dollar crimes connected to drug-dealing and terrorism (some of HSBC's Saudi and Bangladeshi clients had terrorist ties, according to a Senate investigation), it doesn't protect the banking system, it does exactly the opposite. It terrifies investors and depositors everywhere, leaving them with the clear impression that even the most "reputable" banks may in fact be captured institutions whose senior executives are in the employ of (this can't be repeated often enough) murderers and terrorists. Even more shocking, the Justice Department's response to learning about all of this was to do exactly the same thing that the HSBC executives did in the first place to get themselves in trouble they took money to look the other way.

And not only did they sell out to drug dealers, they sold out cheap. You'll hear bragging this week by the Obama administration that they wrested a record penalty from HSBC, but it's a joke. Some of the penalties involved will literally make you laugh out loud. This is from Breuer's announcement:

As a result of the government's investigation, HSBC has . . . "clawed back" deferred compensation bonuses given to some of its most senior U.S. anti-money laundering and compliance officers, and agreed to partially defer bonus compensation for its most senior officials during the five-year period of the deferred prosecution agreement.

Wow. So the executives who spent a decade laundering billions of dollars will have to partially defer their bonuses during the five-year deferred prosecution agreement? Are you fucking kidding me? That's the punishment?
 
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