The latest assault on its own workforce by HSBC demonstrates once again the ruthless and predatory character of the world’s financial elite.
In 2005, HSBC was first accused of involvement in laundering Mexican drug money. In December 2012, HSBC admitted to laundering hundreds of billions of dollars for Mexican drug lords, but no one faced criminal charges.
Though its US arm was hit by the sub-prime mortgage crisis, HSBC did better than some of its competitors during the 2008 crash—though its speculative activity helped provoke the global economic and social disaster.
Since then it has been dogged by further scandals.
In November 2014, HSBC was one of five banks collectively fined a paltry $3 billion for fixing foreign exchange markets. To put this in perspective, the manipulation of the interbank lending rate, or LIBOR, involved a market that was worth close to $5 trillion a day.