Who's money is buried underneath those beaches?
(Image by Google Images w/caption by Rev Dan) Permission Details DMCA
The names have not been fully revealed yet, but the largest leak of financial
chicanery in history may expose corporations and people we know, love ... and
"A cache of 2.5 million files has cracked open the secrets of more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts, exposing hidden dealings of politicians, con men and the mega-rich the world over. The secret records obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists lay bare the names behind covert companies and private trusts in the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands and other offshore hideaways."
The "names" so far have been those of Russian oligarchs and Greek magnates, but sources say that American politicians, doctors, lawyers, dentists and substantial corporations are also involve in offshore caches.
The time element: 30 years. The amount of documents: 2.5 million. The number of entities involved: 120,000. The amount of money involved: up to $1.7 trillion. The number of countries involved: 170.
And .01% of the world's richest people, letting the rest of the world's taxpayers foot the bill for their governments.
Greece Should Be Pissed
The project, titled Secrecy for Sale, appeared to have the potential to create political shock waves, particularly in Europe, where an economic malaise caused by the euro zone debt crisis has created enormous popular resentment toward austerity policies and widened the gap between rich and poor. The project said some of the world's top banks in Europe, including UBS and Deutsche Bank, had "aggressively worked to provide their customers with secrecy-cloaked companies in the British Virgin Islands and other offshore hideaways."
The Maze of Trusts
But it's every country for itself, these days, and America is now waiting to find out just who those doctors, dentists, lawyers, and politicians are: will Mitt Romney's millions be exposed? Will the very-American Koch Brothers be involved? Will televangelists like Pat Robertson (Christian Broadcasting Network) and Paul Crouch (Trinity Broadcasting Network) be taken to task? Will beloved actors and entertainers like Mel Gibson be embarrassed? How about media pundits like Glen Beck? And lets not forget the world of sports: Kobe Bryant? The long arms of networked trusts may touch many more tax evaders than just 120,000. Buried in those 2.5 million documents are references to trusts holding money for millions of individuals. The maze of holding companies, trusts and mock corporations is mind-boggling and investigations into those trusts will be going on for long time to come.
Rendering Onto Caesar: Legality vs Morality
While the majority of off-shore accounts are not illegal, the burden on the poor average taxpayer is quite evident: the taxes on $1.6 trillion could have paved many roads and funded many social service programs. It could also have funded the wars the rich sponsored: most of the hawks emanating from 9/11 were not poor.
America in particular, where paying "one's fair share" is almost written in its Constitution , will want to know who is playing fair in its world of economics and who is not: will it come out a hero of hoarder? Just how many of its own 1% are guilty of widening the gap between rich and poor?
And that gap, legal as it might seem, is just as immoral as any felony crime: even the Vatican thinks so (well, sort of)
An Embarrassment of Hypocrisy
An embarrassment of riches may also bring out the hypocrites of the Left as well as the Right: George Soros? Bill Gates? Warren Buffet? This may be one of the biggest exposures of secrets in history. Get set for some very serious spins and backpedaling.