HSBC (one of the world's biggest banks, a British outpost in Hong Kong), is an openly avowed drug cartel, in as literal a sense of the term as possible. When the British were raping China to seize control of the world's opium trade, HSBC was set up to launder drug money, control Chinese currency, finance the targeted murders of local gangs, crush peasant rebellions... And while they were there, the British Empire also traded in tea, spices, and souls.
Two hundred years after Nineleven, it might no longer be considered a conspiracy to say what really happened. And two hundred years after some of the opium wars have been boredly analyzed and shelved as irrelevant colonial history, HSBC is still here, laundering billions for pharmaceuticalists and their armies, just as it was when it was founded by the Dutch East India's inbred Londoner and Qing spawn to murder millions during the Opium Wars. You can read about it in any textbook. But don't worry; in any date beginning with "19" (or later), God declared that no one would ever again conspire. So there's no problem whatsoever with HSBC still playing such a major role in the world's financial situation. The 1700s are, like, totally over.
There was heroin in more places than China, though. The gooks had it, too, which is where BNP Paribas came into play. France, the little bitch that it always is in these situations, got the poorer half of the dandy's agreement with Britain to dominate Asia, trading China and India in exchange for Indochina. France definitely couldn't handle China, but equipped with mercenaries and heavy artillery, even the French could manage to pacify a few thousand pre-gunpowder tribes. And there was tin there, too, and rubber, and souls, and tight new ladyboys, and all the stuff the French like, and what any good empire needs is a foothold, so BNP Paribas was happy to launder blood tin and heroin francs. Finance the ships, tithe the Republic, build bases, yada, yada.
Nothing to see here. BNP is now a responsible bank. It's green. It donates to charities and it gives its employees good benefits and it tries to make loans to small businesses to help out the ordinary person. It supports women's rights and fights climate change and invests in community rebuilding. You forgive it, right? After all, what's a few million napalmed babies between friends? Think positive.
Y'all know B of A and Chase Bank and Loomis Wells Fargo and Citi, right? Early Morgan/Peabody money came from America's involvement in the Opium Wars--partnered with the London scum, as always--and the "preferred nation" status that papered over the U.S.' own drug expansion. Since Americans don't feel the deaths of millions of Chinese as keenly as they do the enslavement of Africans, if you're an American, forget about the Opium-Wars part. Write it off. You just can't care about that particular mass murder; you've been conditioned to treat it as irrelevant. More striking for Americans by far would be the connection between Morgan/Peabody wealth and American slavery, then Jim Crow and Reconstruction. Heroin cartels aren't known for their niceties, Chase Bank no less, and while Americans don't give much of a damn about HSBC or BNP Paribas, they can at least empathize a little bit with how the direct capital accumulation of America's biggest known domestic banks came from land seizures during tribal genocide (Chase/Citi), railroad carteling (Wells/Loomis), and heavy international heroin and slave trading (Citi/BoA).
People hear about "bankers" being a net loss for society, and they think, "Oh, it's because they overcharge me for overdraft fees," but really, there's a subconscious reason Americans are drawn to crap like the Sopranos. And it's all still here, it's just a few miles away at a local branch, happy to set up a small checking account for you.
Can't anyone else see all the dead children? The white and blue, red and blue banners, hanging at every tenth street corner, slapping you in the face like proud swastikas the size of mountains? Four hundred years of bloody galleons and dirty needles, bayonets and firebombs; a bulging belly lacerated with open scars, leaking wads of sticky crimson cash where'er it goes.