The world is in a little bit of disarray this morning after the massive data drop, named the Panama Papers, which reveal the extents to which the world’s rich use shell companies and offshore accounts to hide their wealth. This isn’t news in and of itself – of course they do – but the big news is that many global leaders are implicated.
For example, close associates of Russian prez Vladimir Putin have funnelled as much as $2 billion through a web of offshore accounts and companies.
The papers expose the workings of Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm which concerns itself with operating tax havens and offshore accounts for big money players.
Some pollies are already starting to feel the burn. Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson is expected to call a snap election this week after the leak revealed his own questionable connections to hush-hush offshore investments which conceal a potentially massive conflict of interest. He got hit with the revelation in an interview and his reaction is a bit priceless.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April 3, 2016
There’s no huge Australian connection as yet – though the Australian Financial Review reports that ANZ appears in over 8,000 documents in the leak, mostly related to its banking activities in the Pacific. ”Four Corners’ has already promised that tonight’s special will explore the Aussie angle.
— 4corners (@4corners) April 3, 2016
This looks like it’s going to be the main yarn for a little while.
Source: The Guardian.
Photo: Getty Images / Thomas Trutschel.