Too Big to Jail

Chris Blackhurst

09 June 2022
320 pages


From journalist Chris Blackhurst, Too Big to Jail unveils how HSBC facilitated mass money laundering schemes for brutal drug kingpins and rogue nations – and thereby helped to grow one of the deadliest drugs empires the world has ever seen.

'Packed with insights and details that will both amaze and appal you' - Oliver Bullough, author of Butler to the World

While HSBC likes to sell itself as ‘the world’s local bank’ – the friendly face of corporate and personal finance – it was hit with a record US fine of $1.9 billion. In pursuit of their goal of becoming the biggest bank in the world, between 2003 and 2010, HSBC allowed El Chapo and the Sinaloa cartel, one of the most notorious and murderous criminal organizations in the world, to turn its ill-gotten money into clean dollars.

How did a bank which boasts transparency, come to facilitate Mexico’s richest drug baron? And how did a bank that had been named ‘one of the best-run organizations in the world’ become so entwined with one of the most barbaric groups of gangsters on the planet?

Too Big to Jail is an extraordinary story, brilliantly told by writer, commentator and former editor of The Independent, Chris Blackhurst, that starts in Hong Kong and ranges across London, Washington, the Cayman Islands and Mexico.

It brings together an extraordinary cast of politicians, bankers, drug dealers, FBI officers and whistle-blowers, and asks what price does greed have? Whose job is it to police global finance? And why did not a single person go to prison for facilitating the murderous expansion of a global drug empire?

Packed with insights and details that will both amaze and appal you . . . if it doesn't make you angry, you need to check your pulse

The sheer hubris, greed and arrogance of bankers is laid bare in shocking, and at times hilarious, detail. Blackhurst takes them on and pricks their bubble of self-congratulatory entitlement

Full of extraordinary revelations. Epic story-telling about a shocking scandal. Read this!