April 5, 2016

One down.

"Panama Papers Scandal Brings Down Iceland’s Prime Minister."

31 comments:

buwaya said...

The smallest fry in that lot.
Iceland is also probably the least institutionally corrupt place affected.

Chuck said...

Watch how the press plus this as a vaguely huge case of corruption by bankers and financial types.

Instead of wondering where all of these socialist government officials got enough money to concern themselves with how to hide it and/or launder it and/or tax-shelter it.

Tax shelters are terrific signaling devices. They tell us where the market thinks that money is safest and most productive.

Chuck said...

"plays" not "plus".

Goddam auto-correct.

M Jordan said...

Iceland ... where the DNA pool is smaller than Donald Trump's hands.

Virgil Hilts said...

So few Americans have been caught up in the leaks that some people suspect that US intelligence agencies had a hand in it (fueling conspiracy theories and charges of manufactured documents).
Politico has an interesting explanation: http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2016/04/the-panama-papers-where-are-the-americans-000083

Dan Hossley said...

Progressives....you have to keep an eye on them.

M Jordan said...

I keep hoping Bill Clinton's name will show up in the Panama Papers.

Curious George said...

"M Jordan said...
I keep hoping Bill Clinton's name will show up in the Panama Papers."

Bubba and the Hildabeast wouldn't trust a offshore bank. Their money is in a vault somewhere...

rehajm said...

After FATCA it's extremely difficult for Americans to evade taxes on legitimate earnings. Many foreign banks simply refuse to do business with US citizens at all or in very limited capacities. If there are American liberals expecting their enemies to be outed they'll likely come away disappointed. Expect a smear campaign should some political foe is discovered with a legal entity (Romney! Offshore Account!) but little else.

Widmerpool said...

This story seems vastly, vastly over-hyped to me. Is it really news that Putin and various other obviously corrupt authoritarians use shell companies or other straws to hide their money? I am willing to bet that the large majority of THE HUGE TERABYTES OF DATA!!! relates to perfectly legal, garden variety tax avoidance, which is not to be confused (as many of the articles I have read so far do) with tax evasion. Why should anyone pay more in taxes than they are legally obligated to?

SteveR said...

@Widmerpool

I agree.

Nonapod said...

I didn't think anything substantial would come of all this, and granted the Prime Minister of Iceland isn't exactly the most important person wrapped up in all this, but I'm still pleasantly surprised. That said, I don't think much else will happen except a rise in the levels of cynicism and pessimism amongst the lumpenprole.

Carol said...

This is not helpful!

The numbers are unarguable: conservatively, the amount Africa loses through these illicit financial flows is three times what the continent receives in aid. More likely, it’s as much as 10 times.

tim maguire said...

I have an Icelandic friend who was appalled that the only first world leader implicated was his. I'm hoping Obama's name comes up. For Iceland's sake.

Nyamujal said...

This is interesting:
http://fusion.net/story/287671/americans-panama-papers-trove/
1. Why aren’t we seeing more Americans in the files?
"Don Semensky: Americans may have figured out a way to add another soft party who has a different nationality or identity. Let’s say [Mossack Fonseca] had a lot of American account holders or clients. It took [the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act] over five years to get into place, which gave everyone plenty of time to close accounts and move their money—open up new corporations that didn’t look like they were held by Americans.


Shima Baradaran Baughman: Americans can form shell companies right in Wyoming, Delaware or Nevada. They have no need to go to Panama to form a shell company to use for illicit activities.
"
We've been doing it for so long and so well that we have it down to an art-form. Those silly foreigners just don't know how to launder money properly.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The Iceland prime minister appears to have been double screwed. First, by having Icelandic bank deposits in an offshore account he may have only gotten pennies as onshore accounts were made whole and offshore accounts made to take the loss. Second, he had gotten his name on half his now wife's money in the offshore account and then sold it back to her for $1.

Nonapod said...

Chinese state media is heavily implying that the US Gov't is behind all this. Yeah, it Chinese state media, not the most honest bunch I could think of. But then again I'd say it's certainly not completely out of the question, but we'll probably never know one way or the other.

Rick said...

"One Down".

I'm sure Putin will be next.

Rick said...

Nonapod said...
Chinese state media is heavily implying that the US Gov't is behind all this.


Payback for the OPM hack? If so nice job. They get some dirt on a few of our government employees, we get a few of them shot by their own side.

Jason said...

China's government is currently engaging in a big crackdown on corruption.

So Beijing is pretty ticked off that a whole bunch of high-level commies, including President Xi's own brother-in-law, got caught up in this.

Naturally, Beijing is preventing their media from covering it. The only thing about it Chinese readers get to read about is the Putin connection. Their own people are not allowed to read about their own officials.

Commies gonna commie.

Jason said...

Wow. Look at all the Bernie fans pointing and hooting and not realizing that the fact that this happens confirms that capital flows to places where it is respected.

That is, not taxed to oblivion, and not likely to be subject to government seizure/nationalization.

robinintn said...

The report I read said the protesters in Reykjavik "pelted the legislature with eggs and yogurt." Yogurt!

buwaya said...

"The report I read said the protesters in Reykjavik "pelted the legislature with eggs and yogurt."

I wonder what would happen if a mob of protesters pelted, say, the EPA headquarters with eggs and yogurt.
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue btw.

Nyamujal said...

"I wonder what would happen if a mob of protesters pelted, say, the EPA headquarters with eggs and yogurt.
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue btw."
We have more crazies than Iceland. It's probably a good thing that DC police or the secret service would shut something like that promptly.

CJ said...

Congrats to Iceland. They obviously have high standards; they didn't bail out their own bankrupt banks in 2008-9, but rather forced them into writedowns and bankruptcy. They're now applying the same high standards to a corrupt politician.

Beijing says it's a U.S. intelligence operation? It might well be, but let's remember how things work in China. If you fall out of favor with the Party, THEN you get charged with corruption. NOT the other way around.

viator said...

Soros vs. Putin?

Wikileaks chimes in..

https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/717454569861611520

the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) is:

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2016/04/george-soros-funded-organization-behind.html

An eclectic collection revealed including Lionel Messi, Tina Turner, David Geffen, Pedro Almodóvar, Pilar de Borbón sister of Juan Carlos, and just resigned Prime Minister of Iceland Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, among others so far.

Rusty said...

Carol said...
This is not helpful!

The numbers are unarguable: conservatively, the amount Africa loses through these illicit financial flows is three times what the continent receives in aid. More likely, it’s as much as 10 times.

Just where the hell did you think all that money was going? To combat aids? To feed hungry babies? To cure Ebola? Of course they pocketed the money. What did you expect?

Eric said...

Bubba and the Hildabeast wouldn't trust a offshore bank. Their money is in a vault somewhere...

They've probably done both. The one thing you can say about Clinton corruption is they seems pretty brazen.

The people leaking this data are stringing it out over a couple weeks. I'm still putting the odds at about 50:50 Hillary's in there somewhere.

AlanKH said...

Jump back, what's that sound
Here she comes, full blast and top down
Hot shoe, burnin' down the avenue
Model citizen zero discipline

Largo said...

Widmerpool wrote:

"I am willing to bet that the large majority of THE HUGE TERABYTES OF DATA!!! relates to perfectly legal, garden variety tax avoidance, which is not to be confused (as many of the articles I have read so far do) with tax evasion."

To which I can only add that if I were one of these people I would be fucking pissed at the leak.

(Since I am not I can only be normally pissed on their behalf.)

Unknown said...

Putin may have more than $100 billion dollars stashed outside of Russia.

Maybe the NSA could tap that, as it would make a nice dent in the budget deficit. What's he gonna do, complain?