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How Come HSBC’s $550 Million Housing Settlement Actually Costs Taxpayers $192 Million?

HSBC is paying the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) $550 million in a settlement. Here’s the full text of the settlement agreement and the press release. The settlement resolves claims that HSBC violated federal and state securities laws in its representation of mortgage-backed securities that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis.

That’s good, but who is paying for this? HSBC, of course, but if HSBC can write off the settlement? That’s where the rest of us come in. If you do the math, a tax write-off by the bank could shift something like $192.5 million onto taxpayers. Whether the write-off is legit can be debated, but the FHFA did not state expressly that the settlement payment cannot be deducted as a business expense.

via How Come HSBC’s $550 Million Housing Settlement Actually Costs Taxpayers $192 Million?.

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