Can you hook a crook and win today’s star prize?

“HSBC paid a fine, but no one individual went to trial, no individual was banned from banking, and there was no hearing to consider shutting down HSBC’s activities here in the United States. So, what I’d like is, you’re the experts on money laundering. I’d like an opinion: What does it take — how many billions do you have to launder for drug lords and how many economic sanctions do you have to violate — before someone will consider shutting down a financial institution like this?”

That was my hero, Senator Elizabeth Warren (Democrat-Massachusetts) speaking last March at a US hearing to debate the decision to, um, let HSBC off with a set-aside.

Baron Green, the HSBC Chairman at the time is now Cameron’s Trade Minister. He pleads a tertiary case of Chinese Walls – and says nobody told him anything about the drug-running. Despite the fact the Colombia Office was at one point his personal responsibility. Cheer up Greeny, if Rupert’s anything to go by, all loss of sensory or other perceptive capacity is entirely reversible.

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KPMG hasalso admitted to criminal tax fraud in the United States, and this week one of its partners admitted to accepting at least $50,000 in bribes. Further, John Griffith-Jones, UK chairman of KPMG before and after HBOS collapsed, attended the FSA meeting that set the terms of reference for the FSA’s own inquiry into the collapse of HBOS. The minutes of that meeting show the FSA did not examine the conduct of KPMG  or the role of accounting standards. Why on earth not, we ask ourselves.

John Griffith-Jones was appointed chairman of the Financial Conduct Authority by George Osborne. The Draper might just as well put Jeffrey Epstein in charge of the Bryn Estyn Children’s Home.

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Last April, three Scottish appeal court judges overturned an earlier court judgment in asset-management group Highland Capital Management‘s long-running dispute with the Royal Bank of Scotland. The judges said the earlier verdict had been obtained through the “fraud of RBS”, given that one of the Edinburgh-based bank’s bankers, a former leveraged loan trader, Sam Griffiths, had lied in court (full judgement available via Cooke, Young & Keiden).

The CEO of RBS at the time was Stephen Hester, well known to the parishioners of Slogville as the man brought in by Alistair Darling to cheat SMEs run RBS and get our money back hahahahaha and throw in a few helpful computer glitches. Osborne then took against the Treasury’s favourite banker, probably because he wasn’t quite nasty enough for the Tory Right. : – ( ))

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Big hat-tip to the indefatigable Ian Fraser for quite a lot of this. A simple point: the British “élite” LOVL of whatever colour employs crooks, bent organisations, and sheisters with a long-track-record of lying – for example, G4S. For another example, Nick Clegg The Man Who Does Nothing, got a former Thatcher aide (widely accused of paedofile tendencies) a job in Cameron’s first year in office. And he didn’t know about the cloud? Er, didn’t f**king care would be nearer the mark.

In 2013, G K Chhesterton wrote, “We are rules by clocks, fools and liars”. Exchange ‘crooks’ for ‘clocks’ and you have 2013 Britannia in a nutshell.

This is why we need the Unaligned Front for Decency. Whose articles I fell asleep reading last night. But which will be extant very soon.

Yesterday at The Slog: Stealing from the old & poor to save their necks: our glorious legislators.