Above the law

Apparently the big banks aren’t just too big to fail, they’re too big to be prosecuted for breaking all of those invasive laws that require you to turn over fingerprint, blood, and DNA samples in order to open a checking account or buy a cell phone, just in case you might be a Mexican money launderer:

Oh, so the banks don’t just bilk investors and rip off municipalities, they also help Mexican Gangs run drugs?

This was no isolated incident. Wachovia, it turns out, had made a habit of helping move money for Mexican drug smugglers. Wells Fargo & Co., which bought Wachovia in 2008, has admitted in court that its unit failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers — including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine. The admission came in an agreement that Charlotte, North Carolina-based Wachovia struck with federal prosecutors in March, and it sheds light on the largely undocumented role of U.S. banks in contributing to the violent drug trade that has convulsed Mexico for the past four years.

That’s nice. Guns and ammunition cost money – lots of it. Getting that money requires some means of transporting it and “laundering” it. For that, we turn to the largest financial institutions in the world, who, it turns out, have never been prosecuted for these felonious acts.

This is the salient quote: “No big U.S. bank — Wells Fargo included — has ever been indicted for violating the Bank Secrecy Act or any other federal law. Instead, the Justice Department settles criminal charges by using deferred-prosecution agreements, in which a bank pays a fine and promises not to break the law again.”

It is completely obvious that there is no longer any rule of law in the USA. There increasingly isn’t even any pretense at it. It is no longer a republic, but a financial aristocracy divided into a thousand corporate fiefdoms. Given human nature, how long can it be before the executives begin granting themselves titles like the Archduke of Wells Fargo and the Grand Count of Google?