Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite by Jake Bernstein

Product info (from Goodreads):

A two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist takes us inside the world revealed by the Panama Papers, a landscape of illicit money, political corruption, and fraud on a global scale.

My impressions:

Do you think superwealthy people love paying taxes? Well, obviously they don’t. Taxes are for the poor. Even legal tax evasion is for them painfully inefficient so many millionaires and billionaires, big corporate companies too, are lured by such tax havens as Panama, the British Virgin Islands, Seychelles or Niue and such legal firms as Mossack Fonseca. For several thousand dollars, a paltry amount of money for the super-rich, they provided useful tools which allowed you to hide your assets from governments, journalists, tax collectors, partners, enemies and also wives, family, and friends – nifty, isn’t it? Moral flexibility was actually their selling point and they served anybody – arms dealers, bloody diamond traders, drug kingpins, ruthless dictators or your average banksters – as long as they were paid.

This would be an interesting book if it were fiction but it is a powerful book because it describes facts. Have you ever wondered where such big fish like Donald Trump or Vladimir Putin keep their money? In this book you’ll find a part of the answer. Don’t be afraid financial or legal jargon will inudate you – it’s really not that bad. By the way, have you heard about ICIJ? It’s the organization we have to thank for compiling most of the data from the hacks. They have a great website which I recommend you look in to and try your, say, alma mater or the name of your prime minister in the search bar.

Final verdict:

Secrecy World reads like a fast-paced thriller with a deeply reported and intricately woven narrative. I only hope the movie will be equally good – or even better.

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1 Response to Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite by Jake Bernstein

  1. Carole Rae says:

    dang those rich folk!

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