In what appears to be the largest leak of all time, investigative journalists from all across the globe are putting in hours around the clock to sort through the papers. In a name that seems perfect for a movie title already, the Panama Papers are a massive collection of data from the last 40 years from leaders, politicians, and celebrities who appear to have been scheming the tax system and stashing money off shores- I know, tell us something we didn’t already think. What makes this leak both historic and important, is its incriminating proof of some of the richest people we all recognize. Some of the facts in the case: The leak, which includes over 11.5 million documents has and will reveal the rich and powerful of our generation avoiding taxation and hiding money. In all, there are 4.8 million emails, 3 million database files, and 2.1 million PDFS equaling over 2.6 TERABYTES of Data from the Panamanian law firm MOSSACK FONSECA. For those of you who dont full grasp how much data that is, look for the photo to the side- or take this into account:an average iPhone has 32GB worth of room, now imagine 32 FULL iPhones and that’s how much data has been released.
This leak has 2000x as much data as the WikiLeaks State Department Papers that were released and everyone remembers how much of a buzz that created inside and outside of American boarders. The documents which were given to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists have since been given to over 107 media organizations in over 70 countries. While the investigation is young, already 12 current and former leaders have been exposed including Putin and the Prime Minister of Iceland. While Russia is reacting in typical fashion saying “We’re totally fine, its just people trying to smear us”- Iceland Prime Minister has reacted by saying “I will not resign”; thus enraging the citizens of Iceland which can be seen via live stream of their protests. China continues to sensor the entire situation from their citizens which does not look favorable in their future. Other celebrities who have been accused include Lionel Messi & Jackie Chan.
So what exactly was the wrongdoings? Let me break it down as simply as I can. When a company makes say a million USD worth of profits in a year, they can take some of their earnings and invest it back into the company. This action not only helps the growth of the business, but is a tax-reduced incentive. The other earnings will be tax according to a countries tax rates. What these rich scumbags have been doing essentially is placing the rest of their earnings in what is called a shell corporation which does not actually exist- no workers, no products, and sometime not even a tangible building. Due to no international protocol, some corporations do not need to assign a name to the CEO field- which has now resulted in tens of years of tax evasion and overall shitty moral decisions. Didnt quite get that? Here is an explanation to a 5 year old which sums it up even better:
While the investigation is still young, many who are interested in who will be accused in this debacle have noted that no Americas have been sought out….yet. Looks like the show is just starting. This is journalism at its best, hard hitting and data driven. Time to expose these greedy bastards.