IT’S all very well for outraged western politicians to talk about corruption in developing countries, but what about the institutionalized corruption in their own backyards? Why don’t they mention that? Let’s face it, there’s no greater form of corruption than that which exists between western governments and the banks. They have a special relationship that not only works to their mutual benefit but also serves to protect them in times of crisis. How else can one explain the revolving door of inept and possibly criminal bankers in the US government? And what about UK-based HSBC, which was recently fined almost US$2 billion for laundering billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels, among others, and violating a host of important banking laws – and yet its highly paid bosses somehow escaped prosecution? (Try telling that to someone who’s been arrested and jailed for a relatively minor drugs offence). It gets even worse when one of those HBSC bankers goes on to be awarded a title and a government position, after, one suspects, receiving a handsome bonus and extremely generous pension.