All Fair in Love and War….and the Pursuit of Profit

Rolling Stones Matt Taibi is in rare form speaking about the incredible settlement HSBC was given after admitting to laundering billions in drug money:

If you’ve ever been arrested on a drug charge, if you’ve ever spent even a day in jail for having a stem of marijuana in your pocket or “drug paraphernalia” in your gym bag, Assistant Attorney General and longtime Bill Clinton pal Lanny Breuer has a message for you: Bite me.


Breuer this week signed off on a settlement deal with the British banking giant HSBC that is the ultimate insult to every ordinary person who’s ever had his life altered by a narcotics charge. Despite the fact that HSBC admitted to laundering billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels (among others) and violating a host of important banking laws (from the Bank Secrecy Act to the Trading With the Enemy Act), Breuer and his Justice Department elected not to pursue criminal prosecutions of the bank, opting instead for a “record” financial settlement of $1.9 billion, which as one analyst noted is about five weeks of income for the bank.

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I’m SHOCKED. After the near collapse of the world economy in 2008 who would have ever imagined that the banks and their executives would continue to break the law with reckless abandon, and when caught, get another slap on the wrist?


Early May Roundup

Lots of great stuff out there that deserves an honorable mention rounded up from the first few weeks in May:

  • In music we have news from Ars about the Library of Congress’s new National Jukebox and also the announcement of yet another collection of Pink Floyd music I will be forced to purchase (can’t wait for Wish You Were Here in 5.1).
  • In Chicago media news Alton Brown has called an end to ‘Good Eats’ to work on a new project.  The tv series The Chicago Code has been cancelled much to the chagrin of the wife and I.
  • In science fiction and fantasy news the 2011 Hugo finalists have been announced.  Here are some very cool (ok, epic) science fiction artists and some of there latest work.  Also, LOTR/Weta fans may want to act fast to get their own signed print of ‘Disturber of the Peace.’
  • From the LOL files, we have a special book for frustrated parents, Go the Fuck to Sleep, and even though I’m not a Red Wings fan, this video of a Red Wings assistant coach owning a Sharks fan deserves a standing golf clap.
  • And last but not least from the Shit Just Got Real file, sitting down is killing you, here’s how to track how much bandwidth you’re using now that AT&T is metering your internet (log in using your ATT credentials).  And if you haven’t read and been enraged yet by the financial mess this country is in, the most recent article by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone, The People vs. Goldman Sachs, is a great place to start and a must read.