We can use money orders to send money overseas.  Our overseas maximum is $1,500    The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp. (HSBC, a British bank from colonial times) had a slightly higher maximum -- billions of dollars.

HSBC's money came from Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, and Mexico, injected into the American banking system (and into the global economy) illegally -- "laundering money".  When a bank in Mexico uses special boxes built to slide exactly through tellers' windows in order to take in the volumes of cash that their customers don't know how else to get rid of,  you know it is drug money (but  of course, they did not know). 

If you are in the ruling family of a country, it may be easy to "ask" the Treasury or national bank to move millions into another account.  If you rule a drug cartel, it will certainly be easy to get millions, but it won't be in any account at all -- that's where the big boxes shoved through the tellers' windows came in.  Now both political rulers and drug kings have big-balance bank accounts, but there are two problems: 1) the money needs to be moved to an overseas country where they want to buy their third home, second yacht, first private jet.  And 2) lots of moves to accounts seemingly not owned by them ("off-shore accounts") need to be made to obscure where the money came from, and who might need to pay taxes on it.  Moving money many times to obscure nasty origin, true ownership, and tax liability is what money laundering is all about.  In the end, cash will flow through the hands of a prestigious person from a prestigious bank, and everyone at ritzy stores and restaurants looks great.

It's hard work covering your trail.  Over $800 million of the Mexican dollars were documented well enough to prosecute the bank,  yet nobody went to jail.  The ability of people with power to protect themselves from the law means that "the rule of law" is broken.  Most do not get justice in a society running on injustice.  Using power to evade the law is usually done to protect wealth.  People with wealth usually want three things: to protect the wealth they have, to acquire more, and to preserve their ability to do whatever they wish with whatever they already have.  The list does not usually include helping others. 

Remember: $1,500 in money orders for you, and billions in laundered money for them, with no jail time. These white-collar criminals can move a million dollars through the international banking system for each dollar you can move with your money order.  (And it was drug money -- don't try that line of work yourself!)  They were never humiliated by arrest, never forced to lose social rank.  Being forced to lose social rank for harming society is called accountability.  It does not have to hurt, it just has to be embarassing.  A society which does not hold those who harm it accountable is a dysfunctional society.  If those who have done the harm escape the accountability by giving large sums of money to other people,  then the society is corrupt and dysfunctional.  A dysfunctional society that is also corrupt is harder to fix.  When you notice that you can't seem to fix what's broken, then the people with wealth who protected the wealth they had, got more, and kept their freedom have also taken away yours. 

J. I. Nelson, Ph.D.

Sandra Boynton 1991 FatCats
Great cards, clever artist!  http://www.sandraboynton.com/sboynton/Introduction.html
Rev 21Sept2016, 9Feb2018 logical flow at end