Matt Taibbi and Eliot Spitzer react to news that DOJ and other federal and state authorities have opted not to file criminal charges against anyone at HSBC.
Broadcast Dec. 14, 2012.
'Even people on Wall Street were blown away.'
"The decision to not prosecute in this instance belies everything that the government has ever done with regard to drug prosecutions everywhere. I mean, when you think about the way they behave toward ordinary people who get caught up in drug cases, where they seize all your property and they use absolutely the maximum sentences they can possibly avail themselves of, and in this case they catch a bank that launders billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels … for years on end, and they can’t find something to charge these people with?"
"If the law doesn’t apply equally to everybody, then you don’t really have a system of law. And so you have a built-in defense for everybody in every drug case forever. I mean, if you get caught with a stem of marijuana, how do you not stand up and say, ‘You’re going to send me to jail for this where a guy who laundered a billion dollars for a bunch of murderers gets nothing?’"
I had the pleasure of appearing on Eliot Spitzer's Viewpoint last night to talk about the hideous Eric Holder Lanny Breuer HSBC settlement, in which the government elected not to push criminal prosecutions against bank officers who admitted to laundering billions of dollars in drug money. Spitzer was the first guy I thought of when I saw the softball settlement, so it was cool to hear the prosecutorial take on the deal. When I came home after the show, my wife laughed. "It's like you guys were fighting over who was more pissed off."