'Pandora Papers': Massive leak exposes offshore dealings of 35 world leaders

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Doc
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'Pandora Papers': Massive leak exposes offshore dealings of 35 world leaders

Post by Doc » Sun Oct 03, 2021 3:50 pm

https://thehill.com/policy/finance/5750 ... ld-leaders
'Pandora Papers': Massive leak exposes offshore dealings of 35 world leaders

eaked offshore financial records dubbed the "Pandora Papers" were published by major news outlets this weekend, exposing the secret assets and agreements from some of the world's most wealthy and powerful leaders.

The leak contained nearly 12 million files from companies hired to set up offshore accounts in Panama, Dubai, Monaco, Switzerland and the Cayman Islands, the Guardian said.

The Guardian reported that people named in the papers include 35 world leaders, 300 other public officials and more than 100 billionaires. Current and former presidents, prime ministers, judges, mayors, military generals and more are among those named.
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The data was originally given to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in Washington, D.C.

ICIJ then distributed the information to organizations like the Guardian, BBC Panorama, Le Monde and The Washington Post. Since then, more than 600 journalists have investigated the contents of the papers in the largest data leak on record in terms of financial data volume, the Guardian said.

The papers offer what the Guardian called a "rare window into the hidden operations" of offshore financial operations that enable some of the world's wealthiest people to evade taxes.

Though not everyone named in the papers was accused of any wrongdoing, some of the paper's revelations could have serious implications on upcoming elections.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who will seek reelection next week, declined to comment on why he used an offshore investment firm to purchase a $22 million chateau in the south of France, per the Guardian's reporting on the papers.

Others named in the papers included King Abdullah II of Jordan, who reportedly had $100 million in properties all over the world and maintained he had committed no wrongdoing by holding those properties through offshore companies, the Guardian said.
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The papers also show how a Russian woman purchased a multimillion-dollar apartment in Monaco and accumulated enormous wealth after having a baby, at a time when she was reportedly in a secret relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is said to have transferred a 25 percent stake in an offshore company to his friend turned top adviser, the papers show. The transfer came during a campaign in which he promised to rectify the corrupt nature of his country's economy, the Guardian noted.

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While offshore holdings are not illegal and can even have legitimate security-related purposes, their secretive nature has at times been used to enable criminal activity and money laundering.

The papers could be an embarrassment for President Biden, who vowed to bring transparency to international finances though papers portray the U.S. as a "leading tax haven," the Guardian said.

The Guardian and other media outlets intend to publish additional findings about the papers in the coming days.
“"I fancied myself as some kind of god....It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything, but I feel comfortable about it now since I began to live it out.” -- George Soros

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Re: 'Pandora Papers': Massive leak exposes offshore dealings of 35 world leaders

Post by Sertorio » Mon Oct 04, 2021 2:04 am

For years one hears about how Putin is a cleptocrat and what a terrible person he is. And then, suddenly, one finds out that many of the "pure" democratic leaders of the West are as cleptocratic and thieves as those they have been accusing. I wonder why one bothers trying to make the leaders one doesn't like looking bad when our own leaders are at least as bad...

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Re: 'Pandora Papers': Massive leak exposes offshore dealings of 35 world leaders

Post by Doc » Mon Oct 04, 2021 5:19 am

Sertorio wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 2:04 am
For years one hears about how Putin is a cleptocrat and what a terrible person he is. And then, suddenly, one finds out that many of the "pure" democratic leaders of the West are as cleptocratic and thieves as those they have been accusing. I wonder why one bothers trying to make the leaders one doesn't like looking bad when our own leaders are at least as bad...
Not to worry so much Sertorio. Even though Putin is implicated, the article hints that Joe Biden is as well.
“"I fancied myself as some kind of god....It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything, but I feel comfortable about it now since I began to live it out.” -- George Soros

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Re: 'Pandora Papers': Massive leak exposes offshore dealings of 35 world leaders

Post by Milo » Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:06 am

I don’t find these very illuminating. Are there people who don’t know the wealthy can afford tax avoidance?

And, as with the Panama Papers, there doesn’t seem to be any illegality here. If this exposed crimes it would be different.

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Re: 'Pandora Papers': Massive leak exposes offshore dealings of 35 world leaders

Post by SteveFoerster » Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:20 am

Sertorio wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 2:04 am
For years one hears about how Putin is a cleptocrat and what a terrible person he is.
Well, Putin is a kleptocrat and a terrible person.
Sertorio wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 2:04 am
And then, suddenly, one finds out that many of the "pure" democratic leaders of the West are as cleptocratic and thieves as those they have been accusing. I wonder why one bothers trying to make the leaders one doesn't like looking bad when our own leaders are at least as bad...
No one on this forum uncritically praises Western policymakers, and you know it.
Writer, technologist, educator, gadfly.
President of New World University: https://newworld.ac

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Re: 'Pandora Papers': Massive leak exposes offshore dealings of 35 world leaders

Post by Sertorio » Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:22 am

SteveFoerster wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:20 am
Sertorio wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 2:04 am
For years one hears about how Putin is a cleptocrat and what a terrible person he is.
Well, Putin is a kleptocrat and a terrible person.
Sertorio wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 2:04 am
And then, suddenly, one finds out that many of the "pure" democratic leaders of the West are as cleptocratic and thieves as those they have been accusing. I wonder why one bothers trying to make the leaders one doesn't like looking bad when our own leaders are at least as bad...
No one on this forum uncritically praises Western policymakers, and you know it.
I will start counting how many times you criticize Putin, Xi and Biden, and compare the results...

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Re: 'Pandora Papers': Massive leak exposes offshore dealings of 35 world leaders

Post by SteveFoerster » Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:24 am

Milo wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:06 am
I don’t find these very illuminating. Are there people who don’t know the wealthy can afford tax avoidance?

And, as with the Panama Papers, there doesn’t seem to be any illegality here. If this exposed crimes it would be different.
I've found that far too many people not only have no idea what the difference is between tax evasion and tax avoidance, but don't care because their beliefs are informed by class envy and an "eat the rich" mentality.

That said, however, as with the Panama Papers, the real questions raised are more along the lines of how some of these people amassed vast sums in the first place.

Or, in libertarian terms, just because taxation is theft doesn't mean it's the only kind of theft.
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Re: 'Pandora Papers': Massive leak exposes offshore dealings of 35 world leaders

Post by SteveFoerster » Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:27 am

Sertorio wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:22 am
SteveFoerster wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:20 am
Sertorio wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 2:04 am
For years one hears about how Putin is a cleptocrat and what a terrible person he is.
Well, Putin is a kleptocrat and a terrible person.
Sertorio wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 2:04 am
And then, suddenly, one finds out that many of the "pure" democratic leaders of the West are as cleptocratic and thieves as those they have been accusing. I wonder why one bothers trying to make the leaders one doesn't like looking bad when our own leaders are at least as bad...
No one on this forum uncritically praises Western policymakers, and you know it.
I will start counting how many times you criticize Putin, Xi and Biden, and compare the results...
If you want different results, start posting articles about current events more broadly, rather than just press releases from the Putin and Xi regimes. If you're tired of getting the same reactions to the same things you post over and over again, that's your own fault.
Writer, technologist, educator, gadfly.
President of New World University: https://newworld.ac

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Re: 'Pandora Papers': Massive leak exposes offshore dealings of 35 world leaders

Post by Sertorio » Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:48 am

SteveFoerster wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:27 am
Sertorio wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:22 am
SteveFoerster wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:20 am
Sertorio wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 2:04 am
For years one hears about how Putin is a cleptocrat and what a terrible person he is.
Well, Putin is a kleptocrat and a terrible person.
Sertorio wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 2:04 am
And then, suddenly, one finds out that many of the "pure" democratic leaders of the West are as cleptocratic and thieves as those they have been accusing. I wonder why one bothers trying to make the leaders one doesn't like looking bad when our own leaders are at least as bad...
No one on this forum uncritically praises Western policymakers, and you know it.
I will start counting how many times you criticize Putin, Xi and Biden, and compare the results...
If you want different results, start posting articles about current events more broadly, rather than just press releases from the Putin and Xi regimes. If you're tired of getting the same reactions to the same things you post over and over again, that's your own fault.
I tend to post articles which otherwise you would ignore, with a view to have you realize that events around the world and opinions are not only those which you read in the Western Media. You see, I think you are an honest person but cannot make a proper opinion about what happens in the world, because you do not have access to accurate information. Hopefully I am encouraging you not to ignore essential facts and views...

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Re: 'Pandora Papers': Massive leak exposes offshore dealings of 35 world leaders

Post by SteveFoerster » Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:09 am

Sertorio wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:48 am
I tend to post articles which otherwise you would ignore, with a view to have you realize that events around the world and opinions are not only those which you read in the Western Media. You see, I think you are an honest person but cannot make a proper opinion about what happens in the world, because you do not have access to accurate information. Hopefully I am encouraging you not to ignore essential facts and views...
You underestimate me. These days I'm mostly in the Washington, D.C. area, and sometimes I'll listen to the radio when I'm in the car. When it comes to news, the radio stations here include NPR (centre-left), Pacifica (far left), WTOP (CBS affiliate, a few national and world headlines but mostly local), and Radio Sputnik.

(There's also C-SPAN Radio and a few right-wing talk stations, but they don't really count as news.)

Anyway, if I run out of podcasts, sometimes I'll switch back and forth among NPR, Pacifica, and Sputnik to see what the various points of view are saying.

NPR tries to sound oh-so-serious, their name may say "Public" but they're solidly elitist. Their bias is largely reflected by story selection and in subtle turns of phrase. Their presenters also have a practiced knack for making vocalisations of agreement when someone they're interviewing says something they like, which is clever because it influences the listeners and yet wouldn't appear on a transcript. It's insidious, and a bit reminiscent of William F. Buckley's observation that "liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views."

Pacifica doesn't sound corporate and doesn't want to. They're unabashed about being what they are, which is actually refreshing. When they're wrong, they're hilariously wrong, but they do sometimes raise issues that one won't hear anywhere else. And I'll never forget when Amy Goodman had Ron Paul as a guest on her show even though they have different points of view, which she did because he was an important national figure who was being shut out by the mainstream media. I respected that. I don't know what the options are for listening to them in Portugal, but you might like them.

WTOP is mostly local news that doesn't interest me, traffic reports and weather that I ca get from my phone, and so forth. They're the number one rated radio station in the area, but not because of me.

Radio Sputnik, well, they're interesting. They've very polished and professional sounding, taking their cue in that from the BBC World Service. As with many other outlets, story selection is the way they show their bias. Every single story they present is designed to sow mistrust in the listener towards Western societal institutions. Healthcare, finance, education, government, you name it. What's interesting about it is that during the Trump administration they had a deliberate libertarian-sounding spin, to weaken the Trump administration, but now that Biden is in the White House that's changed to have a pretty far left spin, because it weakens Biden to spur infighting between moderates and progressives in the Democratic Party.

Mostly, though, I've given up on news in general, especially since I have a firm understanding of how Gell-Mann Amnesia works. That means I've mostly given up on radio altogether in favour of Pandora for music and podcasts for everything else.
Writer, technologist, educator, gadfly.
President of New World University: https://newworld.ac

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