‘Too big to jail’ rationale meant no charges for HSBC, critics say

Posted: December 23, 2012 at 2:34 a.m.

Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen, left, talks to reporters Dec. 11 about British bank HSBC’s agreement to pay $1.9 billion to settle a New York-based probe. Cohen was joined by U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch, center, and Lanny Breuer, right, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department's Criminal Division.

When the U.S. Justice Department announced its record $1.9 billion settlement against British bank HSBC on Dec. 11, prosecutors called it a powerful blow to a dysfunctional institution accused of laundering money for Iran, Libya and Mexico’s murderous drug cartels.

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Business, Pages 67 on 12/23/2012