Here’s What It’s Like to Be a Whistleblower

While I’ve been watching the Peter Strzok hearing, I’ve also been reading David Dayen’s long piece at HuffPost about Mike Picarella, a Wall Street banker who took a high-ranking sales job in 2011 with HSBC, one of the world’s largest banks. As it happens, HSBC is also one of the most corrupt banks in the world: “In 2012,” Dayen writes, “the head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, Lanny Breuer, admitted that if the government pressed charges, HSBC would have ‘almost certainly’ lost its banking license in the U.S.”

But that’s not all. HSBC was also, perhaps unsurprisingly, a hotbed of sexual harassment. For example, here’s an internal message between Eileen Hedges and another manager about an attractive junior colleague:

Ha ha ha. That’s hilarious.

This is the start of Dayen’s story. It ends a few thousand words later with Picarella reporting various cases of sexual harassment to HR and then going to court when he got fired shortly thereafter. If you want to know how it ends, just click the link.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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