Robert Durst, Raffaele Amato, Vanessa Ogle discussed on Democracy Now! Audio
Money by the flying lizards. This is democracy. Now i mean goodman with juan gonzalez as we look at what has been revealed about the murky financial dealings of the world's richest and most powerful people in a new report by the international consortium at investigative journalists called the pandora papers to sleep is really papers on steroids. This is a pandora papers because we think we're opening a box on a lot of things looking at about twelve million documents from fourteen different service providers these are low firms and firms set up a secret offshore accounts for people in multiple jurisdictions. Pretty sure police similar these documents for the very first time actually show in the. Us is a tax haven itself. Three hundred and thirty politicians in ninety countries. We're talking about some of the most famous people in the world that are in these documents. Presidents prime ministers government ministers the king of jordan a number of very high profile. Russian finds people that are very close to putin for seeing them buying real estate. We're seeing them. Trading shares using offshore companies. They're buying houses. Cars are quirks mostly demonstrates that the people that could end the secrecy of offshore. What's going on our themselves benefiting from it. So there's no incentive for them to ended the biggest journalistic partnership disturbing led by and seattle general for no looking million dollars does the financial centers of the world. Like the us. Europe leaders are able to funnel and siphoned money away and hide it. In these jurisdictions through the use of anonymous companies and masking twenty nine thousand owners of shell companies intoxicated sleazy these politicians on the powerful people talking about rockstars including a lot of celebrities and people that have been convicted of crimes over the world. A jury here. In los angeles found seventy eight year old robert durst guilty of first degree murder arrest in marbella fugitive raffaele amato both boss of a separatist dolphin. Emily states money lower connected to drug trafficking. The ability to hide. Money has an direct impact on your life. It affects your child's access to education access to help access to a home for looking at a system here that he's harming people it's harming the world and it's important that people know about it that's a video by the international consortium investigative journalists about the pandora papers collaboration of more than six hundred reporters from one hundred fifty media outlets one hundred seventeen countries. The first reports from the project were published sunday new stories or coming out every day for more. We're joined in washington. Dc by ben home and senior editor at the international consortium of investigative journalists and vanessa ogle professor of history at the university of california berkeley. She's writing a book on offshore tax savings and he did a piece for the new statesman. It's headlined the end of empire and the rise of tax havens. We'll talk about the connection between tax evasion and colonialism. In a minute. But i wanted to. I go to ben home. And ben lay out what you think. You're most explosive finding so far right. I mean i think the big picture finding is that this we've uncovered a system that benefits the few the expense of the mini You mentioned at the outset of the big names king of dula of jordan up through Convoluted shell game. Offshore shell game bought a mansions in the prime minister of the czech republic secretly bought a chateau in france In hundreds of other politicians. Besides and i think that is really the big takeaway for us. At least that some people who are in a position to potentially stop boxer abuses are in fact themselves benefiting from from the start system dark system. But ben as as you're serious point out in many cases this is not illegal. It's just hayden. Could you talk about the difference. There and how often crimes are committed under the cover of the law and not in violation of the law. Right well i mean what we see here is jurisdiction shopping right. Sort of an international game of arbitrage where companies in for companies have built tremendous expertise. Helping there is fine places to hide their money and secrecy and illegally quite legally so a smaller sticks. You know the british virgin islands or the seychelles. These are jurisdictions where it's possible to set up a company for a few hundred or few thousand dollars and not even disclosed the fact that you are the actual owner of the company you can you can send them up through frontmen through the call. What's called nominee shareholders directors. So yeah this is. This is in fact. It's a legal system Some will say some of what we've charted as also legal money flowing through offshore and so that's sort of a different story but broadly speaking obsolete the use of outsource is legal and of course it didn't necessarily start in the small countries. Delaware has a long history. Right here in the united states and now south dakota's becoming a big haven as well could you talk about the local. Us versions of this one thing. We wanna do is point out a little bit of. I guess we'll call western world accuracy on this subject the us the uk and others have been quick to chide smaller countries. You know you're kind of you. Think tax shelter. You think of home free on tree lined island but look i mean the the. Us is one of the biggest jurisdictions secrecy jurisdictions in the world We have a story that focuses. I'm south dakota which over the last few decades has really come to rival off-shore traditional offshore tax havens as sort of a he then for people to hide their assets at the trust industry. We report as essentially written the law. Rewritten the laws of that state to make awesome for people to hold money. One of the things they advertise is secrecy but sort of longevity in perpetuity forever so go through some of the names. I was struck by how i mean. You're talking about you know who can yada and kenya. You're talking about King abdullah but some of the richest men in the world are right here in the united states. And you're not seeing their names. Well not we. We have a story about robert brockman one of the richest stop nor the richest man in the us senate tax shelters in believes. But it's true that generally speaking a us billionaires are not mentioned very much in this in this data leak and that could be for a few reasons for one is look. This is the most expansive the biggest obstacle league. Ever it has. I think offers unparalleled that parallel view into the economy. But it's not It doesn't include everything. Cayman islands or a massive tax day of we do not have any. I'd documents became an island. I think the other thing you might be sitting here is to simply that. American billionaires have figured out other ways to avoid taxes. So let's bring professor vanessa ogle into this conversation. You're a professor of history at university of california berkeley. You're working on a book on tax savings in the offshore economy and you wrote a very telling article in the new statesman. Headlined the end of empire and the rise of tax havens. Give us the historical context here how you relate.