At Last We Know How Hedge Funds Are Making All That Money

The ink was barely dry on the $1.9 billion get-out-of-jail-free card that those corporate lawyers that now head up the U.S. Department of Justice handed global bank, HSBC, on Tuesday when long-overdue outrage erupted from the media. There was so much attention to the HSBC stench that a potentially more fascinating and equally smelly deal from the Justice Department went down with little attention the very next day. More on that in a moment.

On the Justice Department’s decision to add part of the drug money laundered by HSBC to its own coffers and call it a day without prosecuting HSBC or any of its employees, CNN quoted Notre Dame law professor, Jimmy Gurulé, an international expert on criminal law. Gurulé said the settlement “makes a mockery of the criminal justice system,” adding that “there appears to be an exception for employees of large banks that have engaged in particularly serious and egregious violations of the law. That’s an insane policy.”