D H
Oct 5 · Last update 4 days ago.

What can we learn from the Pandora Papers?

The Pandora Papers are the latest and largest in a series of extensive financial leaks to have be made public in the last decade, all laying out evidence of tax havens and avoidance, international hidden wealth and occasionally of bribes and money laundering. These latest leaks are the biggest of this kind being comprised of nearly 3 Terabytes of data; hundreds of journalists have trawled through this data in order to uncover the evasive and sometimes illegal financial behaviour of prominent politicians and celebrities internationally. What lessons can we take from the Pandora Papers? How should such leaks be dealt with? What can we do about financial crime?
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Accepted criminality
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Tougher stand needed on tax avoidance
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Why was no American named?
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Most will misunderstand this exposé
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Accepted criminality

The Pandora Papers are the biggest leak of this kind demonstrating the inner workings of tax havens, tax avoidance mechanisms, international hidden wealth and even money laundering, and they prove international politicians and their donors are no better or indeed no different from Mafiosi. The people that appear on this latest list of hidden wealth are mostly "public servants", but this clearly proves otherwise they are using these positions and their notoriety to serve their own interests, not that of the public. The level of secrecy international shell companies is near absolute, they aid corruption and are the so-called "legal" way to bypass the regulation that establishes financial order that functioning economies need to be based upon.

Just as organised crime may own legitimate businesses to launder their illegitimate earnings, these offshore business loopholes are used in much the same way by the very people that are meant to be making the legislation that prevents this exact sort of tax evasion. If politicians are not transparent and legislating against such organised financial crime, their careers should be over, but alas all we hear is "this is legal" or "I no longer have ties to this company". Journalism needs to hold these people to account, they cannot just be named and not shamed as the financial criminals they are. What we should take from the Pandora Papers then is that financial corruption has been so normalised that even massive investigations into this kind of sleaze rarely leads to any legitimate prosecutions, outrage or change.

youtu.be/duqBvaQvv7U?t=3045 aljazeera.com/news/2021/10/4/pandora-papers-some-of-the-names-listed bbc.com/news/uk-politics-58783460 bbc.com/news/world-58780561

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D H
Oct 24
Created

Tougher stand needed on tax avoidance

The Pandora Papers are just another fresh reminder that tax avoidance needs to be criminalized and hiding wealth should be seen in a similar light, why is tax avoidance not seen as stealing from a state and taxpayers when the company's or individual's profits were made in the state and everyone else has to pay taxes? According to Oxfam, $150bn (£99bn) a year is lost in offshore accounts in this way, a figure that the charity claims could eliminate extreme global poverty twice. Exposing is just the first step, governments need to be lobbied to take action through stronger legislation, research on the reality of the tax system needs to be published, progressive tax policies need to gain momentum, and supporting, encouraging and protecting whistleblowers who help expose tax avoidance, all need to be encouraged moving forward. Targeting the enablers is specifically the major way to break down the infrastructure of tax avoidance, exposing the impact of tax avoidance requires international cooperation, as so often wealthy offenders are well connected or are able to afford bail and flee, as with the cases of Mossack Fonseca founders Ramon Fonseca Mora and Jürgen Mossack and Pakistan’s ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

forbes.com/sites/andrewsolender/2021/10/03/pandora-papers-trove-of-documents-reportedly-sheds-new-light-on-billionaires-offshore-accounts/?sh=2feea6c0442d epsu.org/sites/default/files/article/files/6_Taxation_EN.pdf kcl.ac.uk/policy-institute/assets/targeting-the-enablers-of-tax-avoidance-appg-on-acrt.pdf theguardian.com/business/2013/may/22/tax-lost-offshore-end-poverty-oxfam qcostarica.com/pandora-papers-how-the-fight-against-tax-evasion-is-going

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D H
Oct 23
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
The Pandora Papers are just another fresh reminder that tax avoidance needs to be criminalized and hiding wealth should be seen in a similar light, why is tax avoidance not seen as stealing from a state and taxpayers when the company's or individual's profits were made in the state and everyone else has to pay taxes? According to Oxfam, $150bn (£99bn) a year is lost in offshore accounts in this way, a figure that the charity claims could eliminate extreme global poverty twice. Exposing is just the first step, governments need to be lobbied to take action through stronger legislation, research on the reality of the tax system needs to be published, progressive tax policies need to gain momentum, and supporting, encouraging and protecting whistleblowers who help expose tax avoidance, all need to be encouraged moving forward. Targeting the enablers is specifically the major way to break down the infrastructure of tax avoidance, exposing the impact of tax avoidance requires international cooperation, as so often wealthy offenders are well connected or are able to afford bail and flee, as with the cases of Mossack Fonseca founders Ramon Fonseca Mora and Jürgen Mossack and Pakistan’s ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Why was no American named?

Many commentators noted the Pandora Papers for the lack of Americans named in this list of those hiding assets offshore, despite the United States being home to some of the most prolific tax dodgers, this has variably garnered speculation that Americans may be harder to catch or that this is in fact a grift by US intelligence. The Pandora Papers were published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a group openly funded by the Ford Foundation, Luminate and Open Society Foundations, all "philanthropic" NGO webs used to support US foreign interests internationally. At the the very least America's wealthy may not be named in the Pandora Papers as groups like Luminate and Open Society Foundations are owned by American billionaires, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and investor George Soros respectively. But the fact that the Ford Foundation, that has openly enjoyed connections to the CIA, and is widely considered to be used by the organisation until the present for covert funding operations, makes the Pandora Papers being an intelligence grift seem all the more likely lesson to take from this incomplete exposé.

mideastdiscourse.com/2021/10/12/the-pandora-papers-why-no-americans youtube.com/watch?v=3x9jvABotrg&t=6431s aljazeera.com/news/2021/10/4/pandora-papers-expose-world-leaders-hidden-wealth rt.com/op-ed/536539-cia-leak-pandora-papers

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D H
Oct 22
Created

Most will misunderstand this exposé

After reading the Pandora Papers or another such financial exposé most readers will ask themselves: "why are offshore accounts and businesses not more heavily regulated?" However this is often based on a misunderstanding on the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. Tax havens and offshore banking can actually be a force for good in the world, and rarely aid in illegal tax evasion, tax avoidance actually helps tax competition improving the efficiency and size of government budgets, aiding competitiveness, growth, and foreign investment. Minimising tax liabilities provides greater incentives to save and invest, this can also have trickle down benefits as more money can be redirected toward investment and philanthropy. Tax competition is the only form of competition a government has and can act as a indispensable disciplining force that could reign in unrealistic government spending and help to keep a country's economy healthy.

fee.org/articles/why-are-offshore-accounts-considered-such-a-bad-thing accountingnotes.net/international-taxation/should-offshore-financial-centres-be-discouraged/4529

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D H
Oct 5
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