Panama: A Jewel of Corruption!
Over 11.5 million documents were leaked out by a consortium of brave media outlets [Panama Papers/International Consortium of Investigative Journalists or ICIJ], revealing that over 140 politicians and public officials, including Vladimir Putin and other world leaders, were skirting the banking laws using Mossack Foseca law firm to create off shore accounts and fake companies. One hundred news media outlets speaking in 25 different languages had used ‘leaked’ documents to incriminate world leaders from Iceland, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. More than 241,000 offshore entities were created by this law firm to cover the ill-gotten gains of over thousands of people in over 200 countries and territories.The prestigious German newspaper—Suddetsche Zeitung—initiated this investigation into 33 companies blacklisted by the U.S.G.
Not surprisingly, hypocrisy reeks throughout these documents. World leaders, like Chinese President Xi Jinping who vowed to ‘fight armies of corruption’; as well as, Ukrainian President Petro Porshenko [ “Candy King”]; along with the self –righteous English Prime Minister David Cameron and his father [insisted on tax haven reform] are the principle Tartuffes [ speak one way but act in another way] in this despicable melodrama.
Over 500 banks and their subsidiaries registered over 15,600 shell companies [to avoid taxes and transparency] with the ignoble Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca. Included on that list of corruption enablers/enhancers are HSBC [Chinese], UBS[Swiss], Societe Generale[French], Rothschild [French/British].They have created over 15,600 paper companies hiding the wealth of Muslim leaders like Mohammed VI of Morocco and King Salman of Saudi Arabia as well as the senior officials of FIFA[soccer tournaments] and Lionel Messi, the most famous soccer player from Spain.
What does this all mean?
Well, thanks to these intrepid journalists around the world, the following will happen:
▪ Brazil: former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and current President Dilma Rousseff will be indicted and impeached for crimes against the state.
▪ Pres. Vladimir Putin will have to prepare for a potential coup from his wary intelligence/military services.
▪ President Xi has to confront greater resistance from senior Communist Billionaires and political dissidents.
▪ South African President Zuma will be indicted for corruption using his political party ANC to siphon off money for his personal gain.
▪ President of Azebaijan, Ilham Aliyev and his family, should be arrested for crimes against the state.
▪ President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri will have to be held accountable for his financial transgressions.
▪ Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his son are being prosecuted for corruption and thievery.
▪ President Bashar Assad of Syria has used cutouts to fund his civil war and the use of barrel bombs. That will have to stop.
▪ and we just heard that the PM of Iceland resigned due to exposure of his nefarious dealings
And the list goes on!
Many of you will ask, “so what is new”?
Lord Acton’s law will be reified. “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
Yet, I would like to think that in this age of the internet and the new requirements for economic transparency, the ability to hide one’s wealth will not be easy. The fact that so many media outlets could cooperate over a vast geographical/cultural array of barriers is extremely significant. This type of collaboration creates a powerful anti-corruption force, never seen before.
Concomitantly, the fact that the USG, Brazil and other countries are responding to the results of the ICIJ findings is a new phenomenon. In effect, the ICIJ has become a virtual entity which can exert all kinds of pressure on different governments and political/economic entities which the collective press was not able to do in the past.
I will quote Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“If you shoot at a king, you must kill him.”