Why are we using Kickstarter and not banks?
As you know SeaPigs are using the Kickstarter programme as a way to fund our burgeoning new business. You may be wondering why SeaPigs has gone through this new-wave technique of crowdfunding rather than lending from big banks. As with everything we do, there is a reason behind this - because as an ethically responsible brand, SeaPigs do not trust the bigger major banks, and in this blog we’re going to tell you why.
After the success of our blog about the first episode of the new Netflix series ‘Dirty Money’, which covered the deception of the Volkswagen company as they programmed deception devices into their cars to surpass testing on carbon emissions, we decided to blog about another case from a later episode of the anthology show that informs what we do. This blog is all about the lies of HSBC bank, a popular international bank which was caught out aiding money laundering from million-dollar Mexican drug cartels. This documentary only served to prove us right about our trepidation of going with giant conglomerates, and shows why we want to use a form of fundraising that puts the power in the public’s hands.
Despite claiming to hold themselves to “high standards”, HSBC processed hundreds of billions of dollars worth of unmonitored transactions through the late 00’s and early 10’s. Not all of this was proven to be drug money, but millions of it was from prominent Mexican dealing organisations such as the Sinaloa cartel, formerly ran by El Chapo prior to his (most recent) incarceration.
Eventually, HSBC paid a fine that amounted to $1.9billion in US dollars. As great as this may seem to an Average Joe, this was getting off lightly for the bank - this much money was a mere five weeks worth of profit. Such a fine did not make much of a dent in things - the worst it got to was a portion of the executives’ bonuses being withheld. That’s not even all of their bonuses withheld - a portion! It is baffling that such banks are apparently as above the law as the mobsters, terrorists and cartels they are dealing with consider themselves to be.
In 2012, 90,000 people a year went to jail in America on drug convictions. Since 2002, over 100,000 people have been killed by the cartels in Mexico (and that’s a conservative estimate). From 2002-2014, heroin overdose deaths in America quadrupled. All of these horrifying statistics take place over a period of time that HSBC was doing its dodgy dealings with the Mexican cartels. While it obviously is not the sole point of blame, you can’t help but wonder just how many deaths and incarcerations have been aided and abetted by HSBC’s involvement with various drug groups.
The cartels do not care about murder and death - of their clients or employees. They are quite plain that they are money motivated and anything that goes wrong is written off as collateral damage. They have been compared to al Qaeda or the Taliban in their barbarity. It has been suspected that the cartels did not give bankers much of a say in opening accounts for them, as they have been historically known to threaten their families should bankers not do as they say. That in mind, HSBC’s attempts to cover things up through slapdash attempts to get through their extensive backlog of illicit transactions are hardly justifiable to any extent.
The main danger of these cartels going through a major international bank such as HSBC is that the bank’s significance on the world economic stage made it untouchable and unprosecutable. This is because the bank was so large that if it failed on an immense scale then the impact on the world economy would be so great that it struggles to be fully comprehensible. However, this means that as a result in cases such as this one, no individual person ever gets prosecuted or held accountable for the heinous crimes committed in any way - “the company” just gets fined an amount that’s frankly comparable to a slap on the wrist and told to promise to Never Do It Ever Again. Even though HSBC had indeed made such promises before and then broken them. We can only hope that knowing they would be under a more watchful eye of government that they whipped themselves into shape and started to deal more honestly.
Clearly, these big banks and brands out there (for instance Amazon making trillions in profit and paying 0 in taxes for reasons nobody knows) are untouchable and have the ability to control governments unjustly. Apple have more cash in the bank than two thirds of the world’s countries and Jeff Bezos could end world hunger and still have millions in change. We abhor this clear high-level corruption and it has no place within the SeaPigs ethos. We aim to be as transparent as the sea water in all of our practices. Unfortunately some brands in the world are as transparent as crude oil.
Thoinks for reading,
Love Our Tiny Blue Dot