Normally, throughout my journalistic career of 35 years, when the largest bank in the world is convicted of massive money-laundering schemes for the major drug cartels and terrorist organizations and hit with the biggest fine in history – $2 billion – there’s some degree of media curiosity about how this came about.
Usually there is a hero responsible for unraveling the scandal.
Usually there is a whistleblower who risked his job, if not his life, getting the information out.
Usually there is one intrepid news agency that championed the cause.
All of this is true in the HSBC scandal that is being reported matter-of-factly by all the press around the world.
But these are not normal times.
Absent from all the coverage is the hero story, the whistleblower story and any credit to the one news agency that also paid a significant price for bringing the information to the attention of the people and pressuring investigators to do something.
John Cruz is the hero and the whistleblower. He is the former vice president and senior business relationships manager for HSBC on Long Island, N.Y., who told his superiors what was going on (as if they didn’t know) and was fired for his trouble. He is now suing HSBC for $10 million, but he deserves at least half of the $2 billion fine, if you ask me.
Also lacking from any coverage of this international bankster scandal is credit to the one news agency that reported Cruz’s findings and, for its trouble, was the victim of cyberattack from HSBC, which tried to shut it down. That news agency would be WND. In addition, the reporter who covered the story, Jerome Corsi, was fired from his own part-time consultancy with a New York financial investment firm for revealing the dirty bankster secrets that are not the practice of just one financial institution.
Few in the news media showed even the slightest curiosity about WND’s reports on HSBC, probably for fear of retribution themselves.
Here are those reports for the record:
- Banking giant accused of laundering billions
- Look who has stolen IDs, faked tax returns
- Paypal, American Express implicated in bank fraud
- See big-bank money-laundering evidence
- Big bank retaliates against WND for exposé
- Investment firm fires WND reporter for exposing scandal
- HSBC goal: End money-laundering suit – with money
- Massive fraud ignored, until this happened
- Another fraud charge against global banking giant
- HSBC says $700 billion set aside for fines
- IRS probing claims of HSBC whistleblower
- Banking giant HSBC ‘a criminal enterprise’
This isn’t WND’s entire body of work on this scandal, but it is representative. And it’s the kind of daring, risky investigative reporting that, in normal times, won Pulitzer Prizes.
In this case, few if any other media outlets reported any irregularities at HSBC until authorities prosecuted them. And even then, not one mentioned the whistleblower and the news agency responsible for bringing this scandal to the light of day.
Why do I tell you this?
Because I think it’s time for you to recognize the difference between serious journalism and much of what passes for it in this new age of hit-and-run, quick-and-dirty, low-risk, high-reward reporting.
Not even the blogosphere has credited WND or hailed the courage of whistleblower Cruz. So I am left to brag on my own team and what we endured to bring this story to light.
Do you value reporting like this?
Or do you prefer to listen to celebrity commentators spouting off their opinions about what’s going on in the world.
That’s really what it comes down to.
For my money, John Cruz – who this week was named WND’s Whistleblower of the Year – should get half the $2 billion fine, and Jerome Corsi should get the highest journalistic honors for the sacrifices and risks he took. WND paid a substantial price for this reporting, too. Is a little credit too much to ask from our friends and even our jealous colleagues and competitors?