The financial information for more than 100,000 wealthy people around the world was leaked via an anonymously submitted hard drive, and CBC News in Canada is breaking the information exclusively (and refusing to release all of the associated names). The data contains information ranging from tax evasion to Russian scam artists that caused a diplomatic problem between the U.S. and Russia when they stole $230 million from Russia’s treasury. Estimates of the total amount of money hidden range from $8 trillion to $32 trillion, with billions every year escaping government taxation worldwide.
Here’s the video:
It’ll be interesting to see what comes out as journalists continue sifting through the documents and publishing information. CBC News reports with their exclusive:
In what is believed to be one of the largest ever leaks of financial data, the Washington, D.C.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has received nearly 30 years of data entries, emails and other confidential details from 10 offshore havens around the world.
CBC News has partnered with the ICIJ over the last seven months to gain exclusive Canadian access to the information. Thirty-seven media outlets in 35 other countries are also involved.
They go on to report comments by an associated researcher:
“What we found as we started digging in the records is a pretty extensive collection of dodgy characters: Wall Street fraudsters, Ponzi schemers, figures connected to organized crime, to arms dealing, money launderers,” said Michael Hudson, a senior editor at the ICIJ, who worked with a team for months to sort through the information.
“We just found a lot of folks involved in questionable or outright illegal activities.”
CBC News has also released specific stories based on data obtained, such as one Canadian senator and her husband, a famous class action lawyer, hiding money offshore while being investigated by the Canadian Revenue Agency.
They’ve created an interactive map that shows the tax haven investigations now occurring around the world, which is available here. As the story continues to break and events continue unfolding, it is clear that these investigations will be lengthy and have an extreme impact on the way the worldwide financial community operates.
It’s impossible to tell yet what sort of impact this could have on American politics, but hopefully it will help financial transparency. If you aren’t aware, the truth is that a mere 132 Americans donated 60% of SuperPac money during the last election period, and as noted by Larry Lessig during his TED presentation (and elsewhere), candidates must win the “funding” election before they can even participate in the general election that you and I can vote in. Because of this, all candidates from all parties spend 30-70% of their time trying to get more money to stay in office. If they displease those 132 people, by, for example, hurting their industries or pocketbook (pocket Encyclopedia Britannica? Bit more than a book at that point), they’ll lose office and, later, lobbying opportunities that pay a thousand percent what they make in Congress.
More updates to come.