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Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers…
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Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money… (edição 2017)

por Jake Bernstein (Autor)

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A two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist takes us inside the world revealed by the Panama Papers, a landscape of illicit money, political corruption, and fraud on a global scale. A hidden circulatory system flows beneath the surface of global finance, carrying trillions of dollars from drug trafficking, tax evasion, bribery, and other illegal enterprises. This network masks the identities of the individuals who benefit from these activities, aided by bankers, lawyers, and auditors who get paid to look the other way. InSecrecy World, the Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter Jake Bernstein explores this shadow economy and how it evolved, drawing on millions of leaked documents from the files of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca--a trove now known as the Panama Papers--as well as other journalistic and government investigations. Bernstein shows how shell companies operate, how they allow the superwealthy and celebrities to escape taxes, and how they provide cover for illicit activities on a massive scaleby crime bosses and corrupt politicians across the globe. Bernstein traveled to the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and within the United States to uncover how these strands fit together--who is involved, how they operate, and the real-world impact. He recounts how Mossack Fonseca was exposed and what lies ahead for the corporations, banks, law firms, individuals, and governments that are implicated. Secrecy World offers a disturbing and sobering view of how the world really works and raises critical questions about financial and legal institutions we may once have trusted.… (mais)
Membro:willszal
Título:Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite
Autores:Jake Bernstein (Autor)
Informação:Henry Holt and Co. (2017), 352 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:****
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Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite por Jake Bernstein

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If not familiar with the Panama papers then this is a must read. Dragged on in parts, but eye opening. The movie Laundromat was based on this. ( )
  GShuk | Apr 11, 2020 |
I am aware that money laundering goes on. When I think of this I instantly do think of Panama as the first place followed by the Caribbean next. Yet, I haven't thought to much about "business laundering". There is a huge "secret" network of corporations that manage the purchasing, selling, paperwork, logistics, etc. If you want to chance the IRS not knowing your true financial worth then you might go seeking one of these corporations.

Mr. Bernstein takes readers into the dark underbelly of this and other secret worlds. Mr. Bernstein shows with his research the network that exists in the shadows. The research is well done and thoroughly well written. The only thing is that I liked reading this book but I also don't want to just "read" a book on a subject. What I mean is that I want to experience "ahh ha" moments and not feel like I am just reading a history or research paper. Overall, I still did enjoy reading this book. I did learn a lot. ( )
  Cherylk | Mar 11, 2018 |
This book tells the stories of the Panama Papers, the largest journalistic leak in history. The spotlight shines on the Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca (MossFon), a pioneer of the off-shore finance industry.

Supposed "off-shore" finance began with Delaware in the 1890s, when they created statutes that limited taxation and disclosures surrounding companies incorporated in Delaware as long as they didn't do business there. Switzerland followed, and then the Brittish Virgin Islands (BVI) and Panama, with many other jurisdictions to follow.

Over the years, MossFon has created hundreds of thousands of companies to optimize for secrecy and tax evasion. Sometimes they're used legitimately, and sometimes they're used fraudulently (as you might expect with such a value proposition).

MossFon treats the spirit of the law with biting disregard. For example, clerks in Panama serve on the board of thousands of corporations. They pre-sign thousands of sheets of paper, so that "legal" documents with "board" resolutions can just be printed off. Of course, these "directors" are simply puppets that do the bidding of their real owners. They backdate documents when requested. They utilize an approach called "bearer shares," where the owners of a company are simply the ones holding the "shares" of the company, paper certificate, making it practically impossible to keep track of ownership.

Who would use such disreputable services? The Nixon administration. Vladimir Putin. Icelandic banks leading up to the 2008 Financial Crisis. Seemingly most wealth and/or powerful individuals.

The first half of this book is riveting, focused on the stories behind the Panama Papers. The second half of the book transitions to covering the ambitious journalist collaboration behind the research and process that went into the revelations, as well as going into more detail about some of their implications.

I have to say the first half of the book is significantly better than the first, although, if you care about journalism, you will find the second half interesting as well.

Wondering if you know anyone in the Papers? Just go to Offshore Leaks at the ICIJ website and start browsing! ( )
  willszal | Jan 15, 2018 |
The world of secret offshore companies is outrageous. The rich and corrupt, seeking to hide assets and income from taxes, set up shell companies, foundations and trusts – by the hundreds of thousands – every year. Despite the harm it does to local government and the likely illegality of it, the industry holds public trade shows and conferences where shady lawyers, accountants, financial planners and consultants flaunt their services. The numbers are mind-numbing: over $100 trillion hidden from view, costing middle class taxpayers trillions to make up the difference. The treasure trove of the Panama Papers has imposed a little sunshine here, in Secrecy World.

Jake Bernstein has followed the leads backwards and forwards. He fills in the details of who the players are and how they got there. He also takes some minor side trips to corrupt practices like drug dealing, a slave ship, abandoned construction and a fraudulent reinsurer, to show how these players are actively ruining the lives of others with their fake firms. There is even a side trip to the Swiss tax-free art warehouses, where a good hundred billion dollars in precious art is hidden from view and taxation.

The book is structured like a tree. Each of the roots gets an airing, and they all lead up to the visible trunk – Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm from which all the documents were leaked. The roots consist of Mossfon bureaus around the world, dealing with various corrupt governments, corrupt banks and eager clients. The crown is the billowing scandals the journalists perpetrated, going off in many directions, covering the sky with corruption on a truly global scale.

Bernstein has an interesting style. He does with paragraphs what good writers do with chapters – entice. His paragraphs become cliffhangers for the next paragraph, keeping the reader hooked over a long, incredibly diverse and involved exposé. He gives the Panama Papers worldwide relevance.

The roll call of leaders using hidden offshore accounts is a who’s who. The perps include Vladimir Putin and his cabinet, Xi Jinping, Hosni Mubarak, Hafez Al Assad, both Kirchners, the king of Saudi Arabia, Nawaz Sharif, the ruling Aliyev family of Azerbaijan, David Cameron, Dick Cheney, the prime minister of Iceland, the world football regulator FIFA, and Odebrecht. It seems like there is not a single financial corruption case in the news today that does not pass through the offices of Mossack Fonseca. And there is an entire chapter on Donald Trump’s connections and dealings with Mossfon clients and their offshore firms. They are his partners and friends.

The real hero of the story is the unique collaboration among journalists around the world, called the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, where Bernstein works. They spent a year trying to make sense of the documents and data. Their familiarity with their own country and region allowed them to identify players and plug them into deals. There was so much data it took 33 8-processor Amazon servers to execute a search in parallel. 12 million documents worth 2.6 terabytes had been sent to the group over many months. No one knew when it would stop or what the final size might be or what it all meant. More than 300 journalists in 65 countries researched the hoard, on a deadline so they could all publish on the same day. And the whistleblower/leaker/hacker has wisely remained unidentified, seeing what has happened to the likes of Manning, Snowden and Assange.

Finally, with the decline of the huge offshoring operations in Panama, Luxembourg and the BVI, the global leaders of this nefarious industry of corruption are the US states of Delaware and Nevada.

David Wineberg ( )
5 vote DavidWineberg | Sep 1, 2017 |
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A two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist takes us inside the world revealed by the Panama Papers, a landscape of illicit money, political corruption, and fraud on a global scale. A hidden circulatory system flows beneath the surface of global finance, carrying trillions of dollars from drug trafficking, tax evasion, bribery, and other illegal enterprises. This network masks the identities of the individuals who benefit from these activities, aided by bankers, lawyers, and auditors who get paid to look the other way. InSecrecy World, the Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter Jake Bernstein explores this shadow economy and how it evolved, drawing on millions of leaked documents from the files of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca--a trove now known as the Panama Papers--as well as other journalistic and government investigations. Bernstein shows how shell companies operate, how they allow the superwealthy and celebrities to escape taxes, and how they provide cover for illicit activities on a massive scaleby crime bosses and corrupt politicians across the globe. Bernstein traveled to the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and within the United States to uncover how these strands fit together--who is involved, how they operate, and the real-world impact. He recounts how Mossack Fonseca was exposed and what lies ahead for the corporations, banks, law firms, individuals, and governments that are implicated. Secrecy World offers a disturbing and sobering view of how the world really works and raises critical questions about financial and legal institutions we may once have trusted.

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