Panama Papers: The Elites’ Shield From Laws Imposed On Us

Mossack Fonseca provided services to blacklisted Iranian oil company

With the release of the Panama Papers, it’s increasingly clear that the global elites in politics, business and sports have two sets of rules — one for them, and one for the rest of us.

Stolen from Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm that specializes in setting up shell companies, some 11.5 million documents showing the involvement of 72 world leaders and “power players” were released Sunday by a nonprofit news group sponsored by the Center for Public Integrity called the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The group worked with the BBC, the Guardian and other news agencies.

This time, nearly all the well-marketed news logos of the “Panama Papers” including ICIJ’s featured images of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, along with information about his supposed fortune that was already known from a book called “Putin’s Kleptocracy” by Karen Dawisha.

The Kremlin has openly accused the organization of a political agenda, and with George Soros a major bankroller of the consortium, they may have a point. Soros has openly feuded with Putin over his foundation’s activities in Russia and now there’s a Russian election in the works. What’s more, no one from the U.S. has been named, raising questions on Twitter and elsewhere as to whether the news consortium is protecting Soros’ preferred presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, whose foundation activities have already raised eyebrows for nontransparent financing.

But the real story is how global elites shield themselves from the laws of the countries they control by using secretive offshore entities, capable of concealing assets, laundering money and evading taxes.

So while one group of people is condemned to high taxes, “austerity,” and stiff regulations in countries like Greece — and sternly lectured to about their obligations to the state — another group of people — their ‘leaders” — escape by putting their assets in shell companies. It’s the rich, the powerful and the well-connected who are in the latter group, while ordinary citizens — whether of Iceland, Congo, Ecuador, Ukraine, Britain, Nigeria or China — just have to take it.

Any wonder that voters across the world are starting to choose protest-candidate leaders such as Donald Trump? Sure, technology makes the mass release of this kind of data possible — whether of Wikileaks, the Snowden theft of secrets, or by famous hackers such as Guccifer — but it coincides precisely with the rise of protest-candidates, many now winning elections, based on public disgust at the “some pigs are more equal than others” ethos of today’s political elites.

As of today, political and financial elites feel no pressure to live by one set of laws for everyone, which is at the heart of what angry voters across the world genuinely want.

World leaders have virtually all defended their innocence. Well, they’re right: The existence of a shell company proves no crime.

But one set of rules for one group of people, and an escape hatch for another, is unfair. Societies built on this kind of fundamental unfairness have a nasty history of unraveling, history shows.

Print this post

Do you like this post?

Add your reaction to this article