HSBC’s Touching Generosity

I’ve just seen this news item (from the Grauniad) :” HSBC has announced a $1m (£630,000) cash donation to the relief effort in the Philippines, making it the biggest UK business donor recorded so far to the typhoon-stricken nation.”…….that’s £630 THOUSAND, no misprint !

But then, times are hard, (bless !), as another recent news item (New York Times) shows …. ”LONDON — HSBC, Britain’s biggest bank, said on Monday that its net profit fell 17 percent last year because of a record fine to settle money laundering charges and changes related to the value of its debt. Profit fell in 2012 to $13.5 billion from $16.2 billion a year earlier, failing to meet analysts’ expectations.”…….

$13,500,000,000 minus $1,000,000 leaves them only $13,499,000,000…. but then I guess it is tax-deductible….

The reaction to the Philippines disaster is quite revealing.   The UK government says it will MATCH contributions made by the British people, UP TO £5 million, a pitifully small figure which might just pay for the rebuilding of a devastated Bank or two.
No doubt as is usual in these circumstances, the poor people of Britain will contribute far more as a percentage of their income than the better off.
From the institutions which really could make a difference, i.e. the Central Banks, the silence is deafening.   So, just as with ”Austerity”, costs will be borne in inverse proportion to ability to pay….

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