Where are the US billionaires, the Wall Streeters, the Big Four tax firms Deloitte, EY, KPMG, PwC? Michael West explores the mystery of the Pandora Papers in this first of a two-part series.
“The news media are not independent; they are a sort of bulletin board and public relations firm for the ruling class—the people who run things. Those who decide what news you will or will not hear are paid by, and tolerated purely at the whim of, those who hold economic power. If the parent corporation doesn’t want you to know something, it won’t be on the news. Period. Or, at the very least, it will be slanted to suit them, and then rarely followed up.” — George Carlin, quoted here I want to put three ideas together and see if they synergize for you.
Are all these revelations actually helpful? There’s certainly a danger of media saturation, in which the public knows about these kinds of activities and may be less interested by now. But we need to emphasise that the consequences are not going away: to run a modern state, it’s very expensive. To pay for a good education system, a good health system, properly functioning infrastructure and so forth, somebody has to pay for it. If the rich are avoiding paying their share, somebody else is picking up the tab, and that’s either the poor or the squeezed middle classes. So if the public are tired of all this scandal, it doesn’t change the fact that they are suffering because of it.
If nothing was done 5 years ago what makes one think something will be done now. The scandal lasted the blink of an eye on the front pages of the Mainstream news back then it didn’t make the front pages this time and its bigger now.
The trove, dubbed the Pandora Papers, exceeds the dimensions of the leak that was at the centre of the Panama Papers investigation five years ago. That data was drawn from a single law firm, but the new material encompasses records from 14 separate financial-services entities operating in countries and territories including Switzerland, Singapore, Cyprus, Belize and the British Virgin Islands. The files detail more than 29,000 offshore accounts, more than double the number identified in the Panama Papers. Among the account owners are more than 130 people listed as billionaires by Forbes magazine and more than 330 public officials in more than 90 countries and territories, twice the number found in the Panama documents.