Who is the criminal here?

HSBC funds drug dealers and terrorists to the tune of many billions of dollars and they are fined, what, 1.9 billion? Sure a lot to you and me but to them, but for a company with assets of 2,721 billion dollars (that is 2.721 TRILLION dollars or 2,721,000,000,000) and a market cap of 201 billion dollars, it’s a slap on the wrist and of course none of the executives who signed off on this activity will ever see the inside of a court room let alone a jail cell.

Also let’s not forget about the banks and investment companies who were instrumental in crashing the worlds economy, something which we are still slowly recovering from. Did any of them face prosecutors? Hell no, they were given billions of dollars and the leaders of those organizations took millions in bonuses.

Last up, a guy downloads a lot of scientific journal articles intending to make them public, he faces the possibility of decades in prison and millions in fines. Well, this will never happen, he killed himself from the strain of facing this. The prosecutor now says that harsh of a sentence would never have happened, if that is the case then why did they put that sentence out there in the first place. Sure some journal companies would lose if these had been released but they would have continued on, there are always new journal articles coming out which they could keep under lock and key. Do wonder how much of the research these articles are based on was paid for with public funds? But that is another topic.

So which is worse, funding terrorists, destroying the economy or breaking into a wire room and downloading journal articles? Obviously, the last one since that is the only one where some type of prosecution was pursued.

One thought on “Who is the criminal here?”

  1. I think this is a good comparison. So often, the punishments are levied more heavily upon those who can least tolerate them — large corporations get the proverbial “slap on the wrist” if anything, and smaller individuals and owner-run businesses are threatened with and often face very heavy penalties relative to their ability to pay.

    There is a line from The Merchant of Venice: The quality of mercy is not strained, it falleth as the gentle dew…

    I think mercy, sometimes, includes holding the biggest, strongest, most popular offenders as accountable as, and maybe MORE accountable than, the little guy. After all, with more resources, one is always capable of doing MORE good!

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