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HSBC’s Gulliver and “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up”

Posted by Larry Doyle on August 1, 2012 6:11 AM |

Certain statements made over the years resonate with such gusto that they just do not and cannot fade into oblivion. What statements would be included under this heading? Can we ever forget . . . ?

I’m not a crook.” . . . How about . . . ? “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

Surely “Read my lips. No new taxes!!” has a special place in history.

In this same vein, those lines and the longstanding ridicule associated with them received a little company overnight. Who knocked on the door and uttered a line that is sure to go down in financial history? 

None other than Stuart Gulliver, the CEO of the bank of ill repute, aka HSBC, which was just tagged with a $700 million fine for allowing the Mexican drug cartel to turn the bank into a “laundromat.”  What did this British banker have to say? Under the heading of “You can’t  make this stuff up,” Gulliver put forth the following mea culpa in the Financial Times:

 “The firm clearly lost its way,” he said. “But we have changed.”

ROFLMAO . . . hahahahahaha . . . I seriously cannot wipe the grin off my face thinking of him uttering this line. How I wish I was there in person when he made this statement. After getting up off the floor and trying to gather myself in the middle of my laughing, I think my only retort could have been:

“Are you serious? You expect the public to buy that load of hor$e$h!t. The Mexican drug cartel uses your bank like an ATM, and this is the best you’ve got?!”

Put it in the record books, as we will surely want to revisit this line and use it regularly for comic entertainment in the future. Let’s also simultaneously induct Gulliver into the Sense on Cents Hall of Shame .  .  . after we all stop laughing, of course.

If Gulliver and his cronies inside and outside of HSBC were not so pathetic, perhaps his statement might truly be comical.

Do readers have other comments or lines that also deserve recognition in the “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” category?

Larry Doyle

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I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

  • Bee

    Thanks for the laughs on HSBC Gulliver’s “lost our way but we’ve changed” statement.

    Did you see Jack Blum’s article? You both brilliantly call it as it is….
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/79224_Page2.html

  • Peter S.

    The reason why all those of ill repute, both in the financial industry and in government, will say the ‘darnedest things” is that both parties KNOW the vast majority of the public are not listening. Mom and Pop are inundated. They read not one newspaper; they watch not one credible news program – but they all know who Kim Kardashian is – go figure.

  • charles

    Shouldn’t he save that line for the parole hearing?

  • Larry

    I believe HSBC made similar statements in 2003 and 2007.

  • Jim Wells

    Don’t forget Lloyd Blankfein saying he & Goldman Sachs were “Doing God’s work.”

  • Obsvr-1

    how about the gem from Pelosi …”we won’t know what’s in the bill, until we pass it”

    Now that’s a real Hall of shame statement that float close to the top of all time You Can’t Make This Stuff Up






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