“The first reaction to the leaked documents dubbed the Panama Papers is simply awe at the scope of the trove and the ingenuity of the anonymous source who provided the press with 11.5 million documents — 2.6 terabytes of data — revealing in extraordinary detail how offshore bank accounts and tax havens are used by the world’s rich and powerful to conceal their wealth or avoid taxes.Then comes the disgust. With more than 14,000 clients around the world and more than 214,000 offshore entities involved, Mossack Fonseca, the Panama-based law firm whose internal documents were exposed, piously insists it violated no laws or ethics. But the questions remain: How did all these politicians, dictators, criminals, billionaires and celebrities amass vast wealth and then benefit from elaborate webs of shell companies to disguise their identities and their assets? Would there have been no reckoning had the leak not occurred?”
Oddly enough, it was a comment after that inspired me to share this horrible tale. The Comment, (which you might want to read after the article):
Oakland, CA 4 hours ago
This article highlights another way in which many of America’s current problems stem not so much from large sums of money aggregated by individuals and organizations but, rather, by the lack of transparency and accountability for its use.
The C.I.A. dumping millions in unaccountable cash abroad is much like the often untraceable money dumped into our political campaigns, the Agency’s unintended consequences not unlike those unleashed by the money spewed out as a result of the Citizens United decision. Similarly, the lack of accountability at the Agency itself is much like the lack of accountability for the individuals in Wall Street and banks, whose actions lead to the financial meltdown.
The cure lies not so much in curtailing the amassing of fortunes as in establishing public accountability for its public use.