THE PANAMA PAPERS: WHO’S BEEN BURNED SO FAR

Iceland’s prime minister has already been forced to resign. What’s next? http://slate.me/1qt0Mal
  1. The largest journalistic leak in history continues to claim new “victims.”
    For years, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca helped its rich and famous clients hide their wealth in tax havens.
  2. The massive leak (2,600 gigabytes of data) makes Wikileaks (1.7 GB) look quaint.
  3. The world’s elite used Mossack Fonseca to set up shell corporations with the goal of avoiding taxes.
    While not technically illegal, the ethical ramifications are pretty damn obvious.
  4. Iceland’s prime minister, David Gunnlaugsson, was forced out of office after documents linked him to shady accounts in the British Virgin Islands.
  5. Vladimir Putin used a network of allies to hide over $2 billion (!!!) in assets, though Russian media was quick to denounce the allegations as a Western smear campaign. (Natch.)
  6. Politicians aren’t the only ones feeling the heat, though.
  7. Barcelona star Lionel Messi is coming under scrutiny, along with 20 other famous footballers.
    FIFA? Corruption? Wow!
  8. Argentine president Mauricio Marci was also implicated in the leak, one of 12 heads of state named directly.
  9. David Cameron, British prime minister, got all semantic-y when questioned about his offshore holdings.
    He phrased his answers in the present tense, raising questions about what happened in the past.
  10. Xi Jinping, president of China’s Communist Party, had several close relatives implicated in the leaks, along with current and former Politburo members.
    The Chinese media is now censoring coverage of the Panama Papers.
  11. While no U.S. politicians have been named yet, the Department of Justice and IRS are licking their chops.
    President Obama said, “Frankly, folks in America are taking advantage of the same stuff.”
  12. Global banking institutions are also coming under scrutiny.
    More than 500 banks registered almost 15,600 shell companies with Mossack Fonseca.
  13. HSBC (2,300 companies), UBS, Credit Suisse, Societe General, and the Royal Bank of Canada were some of the biggest names.
  14. Huh… looks like the tinfoil-hat crowd might’ve been right all along.