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US Opioid firms Too Big to Jail

HSBC are well known for making their money selling Opium in China in the 19th Century. But now in the 21st Century US corporations are openly selling death on the streets of America — and getting away with it. I’m not talking guns.

We’re talking painkillers.

Four firms just settled for hundreds of millions of dollars out of court in Ohio today to avoid facing a public hearing .

Here is what the FT are saying:

Opioid-companies-head-off-bellwether-trial-with-260m-settlement-Financial-Times

And this from the Wall Street journal:

Four-Drug-Companies-Reach-Last-Minute-Settlement-in-Opioid-Litigation-WSJ

Too Big to Jail cases in banking usually end with a Deferred Prosection Agreement (DPA) in which the defendant avoids the taint of criminality but is officially on probation for a few years.

According to Brandon Garrett, author of Too Big to Jail, the Deferred Prosecution Agreement has its origins in regular street drug dealers.

Funny how drugs and money go together so well.

UK Serious Fraud Office boss is Lisa Osofsky. She just closed an investigation into LIBOR rigging. In her year in charge so far they haven’t really gone after the banks.

Osofsky was once lead counsel for Goldman Sachs and did several years at UK-based mercenary firm Control Risks before moving onto Exiger the “Compliance Monitoring” firm born of the 2012 DPA with HSBC.

So she knows a thing or two about White Collar Crime.

Bloomberg were very honest about the dilemma facing the SFO a year and a half ago, before Osofsky was appointed.

With Brexit happening, UK needs to show that its “open for business” and not that it’s Serious about Fraud.

Surprise surprise…

As Osofsky is not going after banks and carrying out less raids, that must be good for Britain’s reputation as a good place to do business!

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Theresa May’s Corruption-as-a-Service and the Visit of the Torturing Saudi Prince

PLEASE WATCH THIS 5 MINUTE VIDEO

Bloomberg has just shown that the May Government’s proposals to shut the Serious Fraud Office are part of the UK’s post Brexit offer of Corruption-as-a-Service.

UK territories already include tax havens like Jersey and the Cayman Islands, so why not go the whole way and get rid of fraud prosecution altogether?

Steve Middleton, Financial Adviser and Founder of Bank Confidential, says that if you’re an up-to-no-good financial services outfit, who would you rather be on your case, Hercules Poirot or Inspector Clouseau?

That is the current state of affairs in the UK with the FCA, Bank of England, City of London Economic Crime Police, Audit Firms, Law Firms, SFO and the revolving door with the Banks.

As long as regulators are muzzled and employees afraid to speak out, the culture of Omertà that financial journalist Ian Fraser has said exists in UK financial services will never go away.

A potential whistleblower has to jump through many legal hoops in order to get whistleblower status and all for very little reward.

See it. Say it. Sorted.

The government’s recent “See it. Say it. Sorted.” campaign applies to unattended baggage and foreign looking individuals,

But as pointed out by the Bloomberg Report, the government’s entire post Brexit strategy is premised on suspect packages of cash making their way into the UK financial system with absolutely minimal questions asked.

The “See it. Say it. Sorted.” campaign is run by British Transport Police which reports to the Home Office.

Contrast that with typing  “Speak up”, “Whistleblower” into a UK-based search engine. What you get is a fractured wild west of consulting firms all of whom are competing with each other to get private sector contracts to help companies deal with whistleblowers.

That’s right, containing whistleblowers is a business opportunity in the UK whereas in the US they have their own whistleblowing agency which pays whistleblowers in the case of successful prosecutions.

Hostile Environment

The hostile environment that Theresa May has chosen to create for immigrants in this country does not extend to dirty money, dictators, or the proceeds of massive financial crime.

Senior Saudi Officials are in town this week. The type that hire American mercenary firms to torture their own cousins in American owned Marriott Hotels in order to extract $100 billion and show everyone who’s boss.

This would be equivalent to Amber Rudd hiring ex-Met Chief Phillip Hogan Howe’s new HSBC financed security firm to torture the previous Home Secretary Theresa May for a few months in exchange for her and her husband’s pension and most of their life savings.

Of course all talk of British made bombs being dropped on innocent hungry Yemeni children is off limits.

The UK is still angling for the Saudis to give clearance for Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil firm,  to float on the London Stock Exchange.

Such a transaction would allow for millions in commission to float through to the City of London and to the advisers on the deal – HSBC.

One of the main advantages the UK has over the US is that in the UK no-one will ever bring a lawsuit agains the Saudis for harbouring terrorists.

In New York, lawyers are licking their lips at the chance of winning compensation for 911 victims from Saudi Arabia as 11 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis.

If Gadaffi had to pay for Lockerbie than why not the Saudis?

So UK really is selling immunity as a service. The ultimate form of liberalism. We believe in a form of diversity that takes in acceptance of war criminals and genocide as well as mere guns, drugs and terror.

I interviewed anti-corruption campaigner and HSBC Whistleblower Nicholas Wilson during the last election and he explained the situation nicely:

Nicholas Wilson has blogged, tweeted and spoken about these issues and UK politics in general from an HSBC angle. The data he presents and the power mapping he has done points strongly to the systems that are in place to protect the UK establishment as well as transnational corporations at the expense of much human life and the environment. To those of you who are interested in political puppetry and the revolving door, I strongly suggest following his campaign.

Public Relations

You have to admire the chutzpah of these Tories. It’s all done in plain sight and they only ever lie about it when questioned.

This puff piece in defence of Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) is by an employee of the Islamaphobic Henry Jackson Society and appears in the Independent which is owned by the same Russian Oligarch that employed George Osborne to edit the Evening Standard.

The Standard and Independent’s mission is therefore clear: Oppose Brexit but promote anything which protects billionaires, like money laundering.

Osborne

On Thursday George Osborne, current editor of the Evening Standard and architect of extended austerity policies that inflicted misery on millions, issued a self congratulatory tweet upon the news that the austerity deficit target had finally been met, two years after he was ejected and nearly 8 years after it started.

 

The question i ask myself is whether anyone is going to get the Labour Party to debate these issues openly and vigorously and put clear unambiguous pledges and policy in its manifesto that can stop this sort of thing forever.

Those who wish to contribute, please step forward.

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Theresa May winds up China to please Trump — what about Hinkley & HSBC?

The FT says Theresa May won’t endorse the Chinese Belt and Road initiative.

The BBC:

Here’s HSBC’s website

HSBC has been named Best Overall International Bank for Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the inaugural Asiamoney New Silk Road Finance Awards, reflecting the Bank’s commitment to being the leading financial partner to clients engaged in Belt and Road projects.China’s Belt and Road Initiative is creating enormous business opportunities throughout Asia, Africa and Europe which HSBC could help you exploit. Covering two trade routes, the overall objective is to increase regional trade and encourage economic cooperation.

Stuart Gulliver, September 2016:

Nicholas Wilson, January 2018:

Meanwhile Cameron’s China fund is apparently hitting problems:

For more on HSBC, China, the French, and UK Nuclear Power Plant at Hinkley Point:

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Breaking: Corrupt Money Launderers HSBC bankrolled Corrupt Cameron & Corrupt Osborne’s Trips to Davos

Corrupt Money Launderers HSBC bankrolled David Cameron and George Osborne’s trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2009, it has emerged.

The controversial lender lent the gaffe-prone billionaire bookie and former Tory Treasurer Michael Spencer £200 million pounds just a day before the massive Iceland Crisis that wiped billions of pounds off the balance sheets of many UK Local Authorities.

Many of these cash strapped Local Authorities had invested in Iceland because of advice given to them by one of Michael Spencer’s firms — Butlers.

Shortly after getting a £200million bailout from HSBC and narrowly avoiding bankruptcy because of the Iceland debacle (unlike his local authority clients), Spencer donated a million pounds to the Tory party.

It was around this time that Spencer’s holding company IPGL paid for Cameron and Osborne to fly to Davos by private jet.

This revelation is all the more galling given that Cameron and Osborne are known to have shaped regulation to favour HSBC and Spencer’s ICAP and torpedoed investigations into both firms both in the UK and the USA.

Some anti-corruption researchers and campaigners raised this issue with the HSBC board at the Bank’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in London on Friday but were sidelined.

The Canary have run a piece on the scandal which has received zero pick-up in the mainstream press.

For more info on Spencer read this article by the excellent I am Incorrigible :

 

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Ex-KGB Billionaire appoints City of London lobbyist to run London’s biggest newspaper

Billionaire ex-KGB spy Alexander Lebedev has just hired George Osborne to edit London’s Evening Standard newspaper.

The move has triggered concerns about media bias and conflicts of interest.

This from HSBC Fraud whistleblower Nicholas Wilson.

In Praise of Sound Money

Here is Osborne praising the Conservative Chancellor Phillip Hammond  straight after last week’s disastrous budget.

 

Will there be calls for Tory U-Turns in Osborne’s Standard?

Conflicts of interest

Only last week the Evening Standard itself printed a story on Osborne’s conflicts of interest.

Originally covered by Financial Eyes / London Conversation here.

  Original Shape-Shifter

Adam Curtis’s short 2009 film, Oh Dear, points to parallels between Russian and British propaganda — particularly to George Osborne’s rôle. (after 3 minutes 12 seconds)

KGB Banking Oligarch

Lebedev himself made his money from banking in the late 90’s after having been a London based Soviet spy.

BBC Bias

Here is the BBC’s very own ex-Lebedev man, Amol Rajan, being interviewed by its ex-Murdoch Sunday Times editor Andrew Neil:

The establishment routinely ignores questions about media ownership and media bias in this country.

But even by British standards this is an unprecedented political appointment.

City AM

The City Of London’s daily financial free paper City AM’s editor Christian May was given the job without ever having worked at a newspaper.

Though I disagree with many of his views Christian May edits well:

Murdoch

Murdoch’s Times has had it in for Russia for a while. It’s pushed for sanctions against Russia for its role in the Crimea and Syria.

Putin

Lebedev does seem to be friendly with Putin.

Standard Morale

I wonder what having the Austerity Chancellor in charge of the Standard will do for staff morale.