Communist protesters held a mock arrest of HSBC’s CEO as anger towards high finance continues to mount in austerity-wracked France.
The Swiss arm of HSBC is being investigated in France over leaked files which allege the bank masterminded a stunning 181 billion euros in tax evasion over just the years 2006 and 2007. Among their clients: Parisian marijuana dealers, arms traders, relatives of dictators as well as doctors, lawyers and celebrities.
The billions in unpaid taxes have appalled the average French citizen, who has been gutted by three years of social service cuts and failed, right-wing economic policies.
These protesters say that apologies, cosmetic changes and insignificant fines won’t ever be enough to deter the criminals of high finance – what’s needed is a major overhaul of the capitalist system.
High finance has yet to be severely punished for causing the Great Recession, and many wonder if they will escape justice on aiding tax evasion. HSBC, the 2nd largest bank in the world, is under investigation in only Belgium, France, Argentina, India and Switzerland, but many hope that more subpoenas are on their way.
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