By Dean HENDERSON, LEFT HOOK
In late July 2012, First Niagara Financial Group announced that it would buy 195 retail bank branches in New York and Connecticut from HSBC for around $1 billion.  HSBC acquired the branches when it bought the spooky Marine Midland in 1980.
According to Global Finance, the UK-headquartered HSBC Holdings is the world’s 3rd largest bank with $2.36 trillion in assets. 
(Excerpted from Chapter 2: Hong Kong Shanghaied: Big Oil & Their Bankers)
Formerly known as Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Corporation, HSBC has served as the world’s #1 drug money laundry since its inception as a repository for British Crown opium proceeds accrued during the Chinese Opium Wars. During the Vietnam War HSBC laundered CIA heroin proceeds.
In Saigon the opium junta which Lucien Conein and Ed Lansdale had installed instructed the South Vietnamese military to dole out heroin to Chinese Triad syndicates who moved it to Hong Kong. The CIA’s Thai Generals used the same Chui Chao Triads as mafia kingpin Santos Trafficante. The Thais often sent morphine to Hong Kong, which was refined into heroin by the Hong Kong police. 
Deak & Company was the major gold dealer in Hong Kong and its operations were crucial to the CIA guns for heroin trade. Founded by OSS operative Nicholas Deak, it became the largest currency and gold trader in the US after WWII. Deak financed CIA adventures in Vietnam, the Mossadegh coup in Iran and the CIA’s assassination of nationalist Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in the Congo. Deak used a Swiss subsidiary, Foreign Commerce Bank of Zurich, and its US Deak Perera branch to lure flight capital from wealthy Third World elites, mainly cocaine money from Argentina. When Deak suddenly went bankrupt in 1985, its Hong Kong depositors were left in the lurch. 
Long before the Vietnam War, the British elite had made a healthy living smuggling opium from the region. Lord Shelbourne launched the Chinese opium trade in 1783 with Scottish merchants from the East India Company and members of the House of Windsor-allied Knights of St. John Jerusalem.
Shelbourne’s chief propagandist was Adam Smith who worked for East India, which emerged from the slave-trading Levant Company and later became known as Chatham House, home to the powerful Royal Institute for International Affairs (RIIA). East India worked with members of two secret societies – the Muslim Assassins and the Christian Knights Templar – in organizing the global drug trade. In 1776 the high seas pirate Adam Smith wrote Wealth of Nations, which became the bible of international capitalism.
In the Far East the British organized the Triad Society, also known as the Society of Heaven and Earth, to smuggle their opium. Beginning in 1788 the Freemason Grand Lodge of England established lodges in China, one of which was the Triad Society. Another was known as the Order of the Swastika.
The Triads were so named due to the significance of the pyramid to the global elite. The apex of a pyramid represents a king’s power to the ancient Freemasons, who promote monarchy as a form of government. The base of a pyramid represents the masses of workers who are the king’s subjects. Superimposed with an inverted pyramid representing godly powers, the two pyramids form the Star of David, an ancient symbol used by the Freemason predecessor Knights Templar and now associated with the occult, Zionism and the state of Israel. 
In 1839 William Jardine- a Canton-based opium trafficker- steered Britain into the first Opium War after Chinese officials confiscated his stash. The second Opium War lasted from 1858-1860. Lord Palmerston commanded both expeditions for the Brits. He was also the High Priest of Scottish Rite Freemasonry in the British Empire. 
Throughout the 19th century the British families of Matheson, Keswick, Swire, Dent, Inchcape, Baring and Rothschild controlled the Chinese heroin traffic. The Inchcape’s and Baring’s Peninsular & Orient Steam Navigation Company (PONC) transported the dope around the world. When a British subject named Mohandas Ghandi spoke out against the opium trade in 1921, he was jailed by India’s British rulers for “undermining the revenue”.
To the US West Coast, the families brought Chinese coolies to build JP Morgan’s railroads, slave laborers who were kidnapped (shanghaied) by the Triads. The Triads came along too, setting up opium dens in San Francisco and Vancouver and using a network of Chinatowns as a channel for heroin. This network exists today. To the US East Coast the families brought African slaves and cotton. These same families built plantations and became kings of southern cotton on the backs of shanghaied Africans.
The Sutherland family, first cousins to the Mathesons, was the most powerful of these cotton families. The Barings owned the clipper ships, which brought cotton to the Old World, while shipping opium and slaves back to the New World. The Rothschild and Lehman families both entered the US via the pre-Civil War cotton trade.  The Lehman’s made their fortune smuggling cotton to the Union and guns to the Confederacy. The southern cotton barons were the channel through which the British fomented the US Civil War.
The American families Perkins, Astor and Forbes made millions off the opium trade. The Perkins’ founded Bank of Boston, which is today known as Credit Suisse First Boston. The Perkins and Morgan families endowed Harvard University. William Hathaway Forbes was a director at Hong Kong Shanghai Bank shortly after it was founded in 1866. John Murray Forbes was the US agent for the Barings banking family, which financed most of the early drug trade. The Forbes family heirs later launched Forbes magazine. Steve Forbes ran for President in 1996. John Jacob Astor invested his opium proceeds in Manhattan real estate and worked for British intelligence. The Astor family home in London sits opposite Chatham House.