Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:35 pm Post subject: 'Panama Papers' Is A CIA Operation
PANAMA PAPERS IN OVERVIEW
A little over a year ago, an anonymous source reached out to the German newspaper Süeddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) and offered it heaps of internal documents from Mossack Fonseca, which specializes in selling offshore companies based in tax havens across the globe. The source didn't ask for compensation. Instead, he wrote in an email to the paper that he wanted one thing:
"To make these crimes public."
Over the next several months, SZ found themselves with about 2.6 terrabytes of data. The paper shared it with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), allowing hundreds of reporters from more than 100 media organizations in 80 countries to sift through the documents. After a year of research, those journalists finally began to figure out how Mossack Fonseca works—and to uncover how a business that's never faced criminal prosecution could have a bigger hand in corruption, bribery, and crime than anyone ever imagined.
Here's how this whole mess of a situation works:
An individual, often through a middle-man he or she is close to, pays Mossack Fonseca to create a "shell company" —a business on paper, but in reality, a storehouse for a shit-ton of money, whether in cold hard cash or tied up in shares. Mossack Fonseca sets up the shell company offshore in a place like Panama (where the firm is based), the British Virgin Islands, or any other "tax haven"—a place where the true owners of a company can be anonymous and their home country (which, typically, doesn't know
about the company in the first place) can't tax it.
Say a politician makes $100,000 per year as his or her salary, and for some reason—bribes, business deals, all manner of shady shit—also makes upward of $1 million in some other way. If he or she puts that money in an offshore shell company, he or she can access it without being taxed for it. Even if the shell company is discovered, it can't be tied directly to the politician because the company is technically owned by someone else—a stand-in owner who's appointed by Mossack Fonseca to run the company on paper, but, in reality, doesn't own anything. To move the money, the company pretends to make business deals: The Panama Papers reveal thousands of fake share trades, million-dollar payments for "consultancy," and huge payouts in "compensation" for canceled transactions.
When you feel that irresistible urge to go,
we call it sensitive bladder.
Joined: 24 Nov 2011 Posts: 1442 Location: The Caribbean of Canada
Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:31 pm Post subject:
While the media focuses on Putin, it's actually the UK that allegedly has the most links to off-shore tax havens. More than half of the 300,000 firms listed are registered in British-administered tax havens (Hong Kong tops the list). This is followed by Switzerland, the U.S., Panama, Guatemala, Luxembourg... Where's Russia?
In another startling revelation, the leak shows how the £26 million stolen in the notorious 1983 gold bullion heist at the Brink's-MAT depot near Heathrow may have been channeled through an offshore company set up by Mossack Fonesca.
Of the British officials implicated in the leak, only three have so far been named: Baroness and life peer Pamela Sharples, former Conservative Party donor and ADT security billionaire Michael Ashcroft, and former Tory MP for East Hampshire Michael Mates.
Selective Leaks Of The #PanamaPapers Create Huge Blackmail Potential
A real leak of data from a law firm in Panama would be very interesting. Many rich people and/or politicians hide money in shell companies that such firms in Panama provide. But the current heavily promoted "leak" of such data to several NATO-supporting news organization and a US government-financed "Non Government Organization" is just a lame attempt to smear some people the U.S. empire dislikes. It also creates a huge blackmail opportunity by NOT publishing certain data in return for this or that desired favor.
Already some 16 month ago Ken Silverstein reported for Vice on a big shady shell company provider, Mossak Fonseca in Panama. (Pierre Omidyar's Intercept, for which Silverstein was then working, refused to publish the piece.) Yves Smith published several big stories about the Mossak Fonseca money laundering business. Silverstein also repeated the well known fact that Rami Makhlouf, a rich cousin of the Syrian president Assad, had some money hidden in Mossak Fonseca shell companies. He explains:
To conduct business, shell companies like Drex need a registered agent, sometimes an attorney, who files the required incorporation papers and whose office usually serves as the shell's address. This process creates a layer between the shell and its owner, especially if the dummy company is filed in a secrecy haven where ownership information is guarded behind an impenetrable wall of laws and regulations. In Makhlouf's case—and, I discovered, in the case of various other crooked businessmen and international gangsters—the organization that helped incorporate his shell company and shield it from international scrutiny was a law firm called Mossack Fonseca, which had served as Drex's registered agent from July 4, 2000, to late 2011.
A year ago someone provided tons of data from Mossak Fonseca to a German newpaper, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung. The Munich daily is politically on the center right and staunchly pro NATO. It cooperates with the Guardian, the BBC, Le Monde, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and some other news organization who are all known supporters of the establishment.
The Sueddeutsche claims that the "leaked" data is about some 214,000 shell companies and 14,000 Mossak Fonseca clients. There is surely a lot of hidden dirt in there. How many U.S. Senators are involved in such companies? Which European Union politicians? What are the big Wall Street banks and hedge funds hiding in Panama? Oh, sorry. The Sueddeutsche and its partners will not answer those questions. Here is how they "analyzed" the data:
The journalists compiled lists of important politicians, international criminals, and well-known professional athletes, among others. The digital processing made it possible to then search the leak for the names on these lists. The "party donations scandal" list contained 130 names, and the UN sanctions list more than 600. In just a few minutes, the powerful search algorithm compared the lists with the 11.5 million documents.
For each name found, a detailed research process was initiated that posed the following questions: what is this person's role in the network of companies? Where does the money come from? Where is it going? Is this structure legal?
Essentially the Sueddeutsche compiled a list of known criminals and people and organizations the U.S. dislikes and cross checked them with the "leaked" database. Selected hits were then further evaluated. The outcome are stories like the annualattempt to smear the Russian president Putin, who is not even mentioned in the Mossak Fonseca data, accusations against various people of the soccer association FIFA, much disliked by the U.S., and a few mentions of other miscreants of minor relevancy.
There is no story about any U.S. person, none at all, nor about any important NATO politician. The highest political "casualty" so far is the irrelevant Prime Minister of Iceland Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson who, together with his wife, owned one of the shell companies. There is no evidence that the ownership or the money held by that company were illegal.
So where is the beef?
As former UK ambassador Craig Murray writes, the beef (if there is any at all) is in what is hidden by the organizations that manage the "leak":
The filtering of this Mossack Fonseca information by the corporate media follows a direct western governmental agenda. There is no mention at all of use of Mossack Fonseca by massive western corporations or western billionaires - the main customers. And the Guardian is quick to reassure that "much of the leaked material will remain private."
What do you expect? The leak is being managed by the grandly but laughably named "International Consortium of Investigative Journalists", which is funded and organised entirely by the USA's Center for Public Integrity. Their funders include
Rockefeller Family Fund
W K Kellogg Foundation
Open Society Foundation (Soros)
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) is part of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) which is financed by the U.S. government through USAID.
The "leak" is of data selected by U.S. friendly organization out of a database, likely obtained by U.S. secret services, which can be assumed to include much dirt about "western" persons and organizations.
To only publish very selected data from the "leaked" data has two purposes:
-- It smears various "enemies of the empire" even if only by association like the presidents Putin and Assad.
-- It lets other important people, those mentioned in the database but not yet published about, know that the U.S. or its "media partner" can, at any time, expose their dirty laundry to the public. It is thereby a perfect blackmailing instrument.
The engineered "leak" of the "Panama Papers" is a limited hangout designed to incriminate a few people and organization the U.S. dislikes. It is also a demonstration of the "torture tools" to the people who did business with Mossak Fonseca but have not (yet) been published about. They are now in the hands of those who control the database. They will have to do as demanded or else ...
_________________ "Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend." - Bruce Lee
"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." - Buddha
Clinton and Obama Pushed the Trade Deal
That Made the Panama Papers Scandal Possible
By Natasha Noman April 05, 2016
The Panama Papers may spell disaster for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. As it turns out, the then-Secretary of State and President Barack Obama supported the trade deal that made the whole thing possible......
Clinton and Obama supported the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement, which came into effect in 2012 and facilitated many of the most outraging revelations from the Panama Papers, such as offshore accounts for huge corporations and tax loopholes for America's wealthiest....
To make matters worse for Clinton, Democratic presidential rival Bernie Sanders warned against the agreement in October 2011, in an impassioned speech on the Senate floor.
"Panama is a world leader when it comes to allowing wealthy Americans and large corporations to evade U.S. taxes by stashing their cash in offshore tax havens," Sanders said of the proposed agreement. "The Panama Free Trade Agreement would make this situation much worse."
Clinton pushed for free trade in Panama
to help capitalist pigs hide wealth
by Jamie Peck / April 5, 2016
As information begins to be published from the massive document leak known as “The Panama Papers,” many Americans will get angry (and/or angrier) about how the wealthiest misers and corporations squirrel away billions in offshore accounts while the rest of us get shaken upside down for chump change each paycheck.
While it’s entirely possible that soon-to-be-released information will implicate American politicians in tax evasion, we already know the political establishment to be culpable in one major way: By negotiating free-trade agreements whose sole purpose was to make this type of activity possible. And you can’t spell “political establishment” without “Hillary Clinton.”.....
As numerous journalists have been quick to point out, as secretary of state, Clinton worked with President Obama to push through a stalled free trade agreement with Panama that was first initiated by the Bush administration. Speaking in favor of the agreement in 2011, Clinton cited platitudes such as “strengthening our bonds with our neighbors” and “security and strategic interests,” and “design[ing] an architecture of cooperation.” She even had the gall to use Panama’s weak new “tax transparency” laws as justification for moving forward with the FTA. President Obama also pushed the agreement, even as he made speeches on how he would raise taxes on the rich and large corporations.
However, as watchdog organization like Citizens for Tax Justice were quick to point out, given the relatively tiny economic output of Panama, the primary effect of the agreement would be to make it easier for the wealthiest Americans to avoid paying their fair share in taxes......
Joined: 24 Nov 2011 Posts: 1442 Location: The Caribbean of Canada
Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:00 am Post subject:
The U.S. “is effectively the biggest tax haven in the world” —Andrew Penney, Rothschild & Co.
The Panama Papers psy-op will encourage the elite to move their money to the USA.
Rothschild has a trust company in Reno, Nevada.
Rothschild has been moving the elite's money out of offshore havens such as Bermuda, which are subject to the new international disclosure requirements, and into Rothschild-run trusts in Nevada, which are exempt.
Trident Trust Co., one of the world's biggest providers of offshore trusts, has moved accounts out of Switzerland, Grand Cayman, and other such places and into Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
After years of lambasting other countries for helping rich Americans hide their money offshore, the U.S. is emerging as a leading tax and secrecy haven for rich foreigners. By resisting new global disclosure standards, the U.S. is creating a hot new market, becoming the go-to place to stash foreign wealth. Everyone from London lawyers to Swiss trust companies is getting in on the act, helping the world’s rich move accounts from places like the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands to Nevada, Wyoming, and South Dakota.
“How ironic—no, how perverse—that the USA, which has been so sanctimonious in its condemnation of Swiss banks, has become the banking secrecy jurisdiction du jour,” wrote Peter A. Cotorceanu, a lawyer at Anaford AG, a Zurich law firm, in a recent legal journal. “That ‘giant sucking sound’ you hear? It is the sound of money rushing to the USA.”
Rothschild, the centuries-old European financial institution, has opened a trust company in Reno, Nev., a few blocks from the Harrah’s and Eldorado casinos. It is now moving the fortunes of wealthy foreign clients out of offshore havens such as Bermuda, subject to the new international disclosure requirements, and into Rothschild-run trusts in Nevada, which are exempt.
The U.S. “is effectively the biggest tax haven in the world” —Andrew Penney, Rothschild & Co.
The firm says its Reno operation caters to international families attracted to the stability of the U.S. and that customers must prove they comply with their home countries’ tax laws. Its trusts, moreover, have “not been set up with a view to exploiting that the U.S. has not signed up” for international reporting standards, said Rothschild spokeswoman Emma Rees.
Others are also jumping in: Geneva-based Cisa Trust Co. SA, which advises wealthy Latin Americans, is applying to open in Pierre, S.D., to “serve the needs of our foreign clients,” said John J. Ryan Jr., Cisa’s president.
Trident Trust Co., one of the world’s biggest providers of offshore trusts, moved dozens of accounts out of Switzerland, Grand Cayman, and other locales and into Sioux Falls, S.D., in December, ahead of a Jan. 1 disclosure deadline.
“Cayman was slammed in December, closing things that people were withdrawing,” said Alice Rokahr, the president of Trident in South Dakota, one of several states promoting low taxes and confidentiality in their trust laws. “I was surprised at how many were coming across that were formerly Swiss bank accounts, but they want out of Switzerland.”
Rokahr and other advisers said there is a legitimate need for secrecy. Confidential accounts that hide wealth, whether in the U.S., Switzerland, or elsewhere, protect against kidnappings or extortion in their owners’ home countries. The rich also often feel safer parking their money in the U.S. rather than some other location perceived as less-sure.
“I do not hear anybody saying, ‘I want to avoid taxes,’ ” Rokahr said. “These are people who are legitimately concerned with their own health and welfare.”
No one expects offshore havens to disappear anytime soon. Swiss banks still hold about $1.9 trillion in assets not reported by account holders in their home countries, according to Gabriel Zucman, an economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Nor is it clear how many of the almost 100 countries and other jurisdictions that have signed on will actually enforce the new disclosure standards, issued by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, a government-funded international policy group.
There’s nothing illegal about banks luring foreigners to put money in the U.S. with promises of confidentiality as long as they are not intentionally helping to evade taxes abroad. Still, the U.S. is one of the few places left where advisers are actively promoting accounts that will remain secret from overseas authorities.
Rothschild’s Reno office is at the forefront of that effort. “The Biggest Little City in the World” is not an obvious choice for a global center of capital flight. If you were going to shoot a film set in Las Vegas circa 1971, you would film it in Reno. Its casino hotels tower above the bail bondsmen across the street, available 24/7, as well as pawnshops stocked with an array of firearms. The pink neon lights at casinos like Harrah’s and the Eldorado still burn bright. But these days, their floors are often empty, with travelers preferring to gamble in Las Vegas, an hour’s flight away.
The offices of Rothschild Trust North America LLC aren’t easy to find. They’re on the 12th floor of Porsche’s former North American headquarters building, a few blocks from the casinos. (The U.S. attorney’s office is on the sixth floor.) Yet the lobby directory does not list Rothschild. Instead, visitors must go to the 10th floor, the offices of McDonald Carano Wilson LLP, a politically connected law firm. Several former high-ranking Nevada state officials work there, as well as the owner of some of Reno’s biggest casinos and numerous registered lobbyists. One of the firm’s tax lobbyists is Robert Armstrong, viewed as the state’s top trusts and estates attorney, and a manager of Rothschild Trust North America.
The trust company was set up in 2013 to cater to international families, particularly those with a mix of assets and relatives in the U.S. and abroad, according to Rothschild. It caters to customers attracted to the “stable, regulated environment” of the U.S., said Rees, the Rothschild spokeswoman.
“We do not offer legal structures to clients unless we are absolutely certain that their tax affairs are in order; both clients themselves and independent tax lawyers must actively confirm to us that this is the case,” Rees said.
The managing director of the Nevada trust company is Scott Cripps, an amiable California tax attorney who used to run the trust services for Bank of the West, now part of French financial-services giant BNP Paribas SA. Cripps explained that moving money out of traditional offshore secrecy jurisdictions and into Nevada is a brisk new line of business for Rothschild.
“There’s a lot of people that are going to do it,” said Cripps. “This added layer of privacy is kicking them over the hurdle” to move their assets into the U.S. For wealthy overseas clients, “privacy is huge, especially in countries where there is corruption.”
One wealthy Turkish family is using Rothschild’s trust company to move assets from the Bahamas into the U.S., he said. Another Rothschild client, a family from Asia, is moving assets from Bermuda into Nevada. He said customers are often international families with offspring in the U.S.
For decades, Switzerland has been the global capital of secret bank accounts. That may be changing. In 2007, UBS Group AG banker Bradley Birkenfeld blew the whistle on his firm helping U.S. clients evade taxes with undeclared accounts offshore. Swiss banks eventually paid a price. More than 80 Swiss banks, including UBS and Credit Suisse Group AG, have agreed to pay about $5 billion to the U.S. in penalties and fines.
“I was surprised at how many were coming across that were formerly Swiss bank accounts, but they want out of Switzerland”
Those firms also include Rothschild Bank AG, which last June entered into a nonprosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice. The bank admitted helping U.S. clients hide income offshore from the Internal Revenue Service and agreed to pay an $11.5 million penalty and shut down nearly 300 accounts belonging to U.S. taxpayers, totaling $794 million in assets.
The U.S. was determined to put an end to such practices. That led to a 2010 law, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or Fatca, that requires financial firms to disclose foreign accounts held by U.S. citizens and report them to the IRS or face steep penalties.
Inspired by Fatca, the OECD drew up even stiffer standards to help other countries ferret out tax dodgers. Since 2014, 97 jurisdictions have agreed to impose new disclosure requirements for bank accounts, trusts, and some other investments held by international customers. Of the nations the OECD asked to sign on, only a handful have declined: Bahrain, Nauru, Vanuatu—and the United States.
“I have a lot of respect for the Obama administration because without their first moves we would not have gotten these reporting standards,” said Sven Giegold, a member of the European Parliament from Germany’s Green Party. “On the other hand, now it’s time for the U.S. to deliver what Europeans are willing to deliver to the U.S.”
The Treasury Department makes no apologies for not agreeing to the OECD standards.
“The U.S. has led the charge in combating international tax evasion using offshore financial accounts,” said Treasury spokesman Ryan Daniels. He said the OECD initiative “builds directly” on the Fatca law.
For financial advisers, the current state of play is simply a good business opportunity. In a draft of his San Francisco presentation, Rothschild’s Penney wrote that the U.S. “is effectively the biggest tax haven in the world.” The U.S., he added in language later excised from his prepared remarks, lacks “the resources to enforce foreign tax laws and has little appetite to do so.”
Firms aren’t wasting time to make the most of the current environment. Bolton Global Capital, a Boston-area financial advisory firm, recently circulated this hypothetical example in an e-mail: A wealthy Mexican opens a U.S. bank account using a company in the British Virgin Islands. As a result, only the company’s name would be sent to the BVI government, while the identity of the person owning the account would not be shared with Mexican authorities.
The U.S. failure to sign onto the OECD information-sharing standard is “proving to be a strong driver of growth for our business,” wrote Bolton’s chief executive officer, Ray Grenier, in a marketing e-mail to bankers. His firm is seeing a spike in accounts moved out of European banks—“Switzerland in particular”—and into the U.S. The new OECD standard “was the beginning of the exodus,” he said in an interview.
The U.S. Treasury is proposing standards similar to the OECD’s for foreign-held accounts in the U.S. But similar proposals in the past have stalled in the face of opposition from the Republican-controlled Congress and the banking industry.
At issue is not just non-U.S. citizens skirting their home countries’ taxes. Treasury also is concerned that massive inflows of capital into secret accounts could become a new channel for criminal money laundering. At least $1.6 trillion in illicit funds are laundered through the global financial system each year, according to a United Nations estimate.
Offering secrecy to clients is not against the law, but U.S. firms are not permitted to knowingly help overseas customers evade foreign taxes, said Scott Michel, a criminal tax defense attorney at Washington, D.C.-based Caplin & Drysdale who has represented Swiss banks and foreign account holders.
“To the extent non-U.S. persons are encouraged to come to the U.S. for what may be our own ‘tax haven’ characteristics, the U.S. government would likely take a dim view of any marketing suggesting that evading home country tax is a legal objective,” he said.
Rothschild says it takes “significant care” to ensure account holders’ assets are fully declared. The bank “adheres to the legal, regulatory, and tax rules wherever we operate,” said Rees, the Rothschild spokeswoman.
Penney, who oversees the Reno business, is a longtime Rothschild lawyer who worked his way up from the firm’s trust operations in the tiny British isle of Guernsey. Penney, 56, is now a managing director based in London for Rothschild Wealth Management & Trust, which handles about $23 billion for 7,000 clients from offices including Milan, Zurich, and Hong Kong. A few years ago he was voted “Trustee of the Year” by an elite group of U.K. wealth advisers.
In his September San Francisco talk, called “Using U.S. Trusts in International Planning: 10 Amazing Feats to Impress Clients and Colleagues,” Penney laid out legal ways to avoid both U.S. taxes and disclosures to clients’ home countries.
In a section originally titled “U.S. Trusts to Preserve Privacy,” he included the hypothetical example of an Internet investor named “Wang, a Hong Kong resident,” originally from the People’s Republic of China, concerned that information about his wealth could be shared with Chinese authorities.
Putting his assets into a Nevada LLC, in turn owned by a Nevada trust, would generate no U.S. tax returns, Penney wrote. Any forms the IRS would receive would result in “no meaningful information to exchange under” agreements between Hong Kong and the U.S., according to Penney’s PowerPoint presentation reviewed by Bloomberg.
Penney offered a disclaimer: At least one government, the U.K., intends to make it a criminal offense for any U.K. firm to facilitate tax evasion.
Rothschild said the PowerPoint was subsequently revised before Penney delivered his presentation. The firm provided what it said was the final version of the talk, which this time excluded several potentially controversial passages. Among them: the U.S. being the “biggest tax haven in the world,” the U.S.’s low appetite for enforcing other countries’ tax laws, and two references to “privacy” offered by the U.S.
“The presentation was drafted in response to a request by the organizers to be controversial and create a lively debate among the experienced, professional audience,” Rees said. “On reviewing the initial draft, these lines were not deemed to represent either Rothschild’s or Mr. Penney’s view. They were therefore removed.”
Panama Papers Ignore Massive
Corruption and Racketeering in America
by Stephen Lendman
America is the epicenter of world public and private corruption and gangsterism - a kleptocracy run by criminals complicit with corporate crooks, headquartered on Wall Street, profiting at the public’s expense.
Monied interests transformed the nation into an unprecedented money making racket, scamming ordinary people of their savings, jobs, homes and futures so privileged elites can get richer and more powerful.
From inception, the business of America has always been business - meaning license to pillage, defraud and benefit extralegally, including tax avoidance more than anywhere else worldwide, encouraging high-net-worth foreign individuals to shift funds to the US free from taxation, discussed in a separate article.
Government of, by, and for its privileged few allows grand theft on an unprecedented scale. Markets are manipulated up or down for profit, scamming the unwary.
Authorities permitted the greatest ever wealth shift from ordinary people to its rich and powerful, the grandest of grand theft, facilitated by Fed controlled money, credit and debt - Wall Street owned and operated.
America’s dark legacy is largely concealed from view. Enormous wealth is hidden in tax havens or investments at home and abroad, free from taxation.
Wall Street banks and other giant US financial institutions are at the center of unprecedented criminality, aided by government co-conspirators.
Panama Papers’ leaks were selective, from what’s known so far, ignoring Western wrongdoing, focusing attention elsewhere, including on targets powerful monied interests in the West complicit with Washington want smeared - notably Vladimir Putin, despite no evidence linking him to tax avoidance or hiding ill-gotten wealth in secret offshore accounts.
Western media scoundrels reacted as expected, pointing fingers the wrong way, ignoring what demands featuring.
The New York Times discussed “the Panama Papers’ sprawling web of corruption” without addressing its unrevealed epicenter in America.
The Washington Post asked “where have Russia’s billions gone” instead of demanding accountability for America’s criminal class.
The Wall Street Journal highlighted a “Chinese link to (the) ‘Panama Papers’ widen(ing).” Lots discussed on its top officials, nothing about wrongdoing by Americans.
Crime in high places is a global epidemic. Exposing it demands starting with its epicenter.
It’s deep-rooted in the world’s richest country with nearly a third of global billionaires, more than in all EU countries combined, and government run by its rich and powerful, controlled by monied interests, serving America’s privileged class exclusively at the expense of everyone else.
Panama? Forget the reporter collective
-- Who built the database?
Ronald ZONCA - In Boulevard Voltaire, April 6, 2016
Translated from French by Tom Winter
The case involves a selection of public persons whose social status requires us to look at the causes and the source of the revelations, to say nothing of journalistic ethics. 11.5 million documents, even supposing each is just one page, would stack more than a kilometer high.
It is impossible to deal with such a volume with simple humans, even for super journalists. The work had to be done by other people fully equipped.
Faced with such a mass of data, very powerful computers are needed and one asks first, who was able to provide them. For each offshore company name, you must first determine all the actual people. This presupposes a well-populated database and means way beyond the simple request for information from the authorities.
Once spotted, an individual name must be found with whom there were linkages in the past or today. This requires a huge, well fed, and extremely well managed database.
One way to lighten the workload is to reverse the search direction. Rather than starting from an unknown individual involved in the offshore company, and seeing all the relationships he may have or may have had with persons known, one can begin from a selection of famous potentially troublesome people to see if they match up to materials in Panama. In this case, it is a load instruction.
There are few organizations that can instantly have all the information about privacy extending to any sportive misadventures going back 50 years, or on the details of the family unit. We are descending into the Big Brother realm and, addressing the Panama Papers folder in this way, we can easily guess who was able to provide such work.
The organization that produced the revelations has the capability to feed a database effectively, that is to say by spying and tapping, classifying billions of real-time data, and has powerful tools for extraction. The contenders at this level of expertise are few, especially if one takes into account that no American - or at least no known American - is cited in the dossier.
The distribution of this colossal work was done by a group of journalists. Maybe so, but it is still rare to find actual philanthropy in organizations funded by patrons such as USAID (United States Agency for International Development) and Open Society. We all know the disinterestedness of such donors to the journalist collective.
Pausing from these investigations these journalists could, for example, reveal
- the sponsor of this revelation,
- the real reasons why these people are listed,
- who performed the correlation,
- who built the database, and
- how the information got put into it.
In short, we should stop gazing at the finger while the moon smiles down on our naïveté.
"When the sage points at the moon,
the fool looks at the finger"
Why? Looks like the NWO wants the UK out of Europe and is
prepared to throw Cameron under a bus just ahead of the UK's
referendum vote - to empower his opponents on the OUT side.
I was considering a new thread related to the EU referendum (I`ll only say the word.. Brexit here. and never again, I hate these blended words, just seems like something the system spews out again and again to brainwash or something).. so.. my question to you Fintan is what is your 'next level' opinion on the UK being in or out, the media certainly isnt going to inform anyone one way or another. I question the reason why we are in it, as we have lost control of a lot of our way of life in the UK, while being in it obviously has a lot of benefits.
A study highlights how easy it is to set up untraceable companies.
SHELL companies—which exist on paper only, with no real employees or offices—have legitimate uses. But the untraceable shell also happens to be the vehicle of choice for money launderers, bribe givers and takers, sanctions busters, tax evaders and financiers of terrorism. The trail has gone cold in many a criminal probe because law enforcers were unable to pierce a shell’s corporate veil.
The international standard governing shells, set by the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF), is clear-cut. It says countries should take all necessary measures to prevent their misuse, such as ensuring that accurate information on the real (or “beneficial”) owner is available to “competent authorities”. More than 180 countries have pledged to follow it. A study* scrutinises the level of compliance worldwide. The results are depressing.
Posing as consultants, the authors asked 3,700 incorporation agents in 182 countries to form companies for them. Overall, 48% of the agents who replied failed to ask for proper identification; almost half of these did not want any documents at all. Contrary to conventional wisdom, providers in tax havens, such as Jersey and the Cayman Islands, were much more likely to comply with the standards than those from the OECD, a club of mostly rich countries. Even poor countries had a better compliance rate, suggesting the problem in the rich world is not cost but unwillingness to follow the rules (see chart). Only ten out of 1,722 providers in America required notarised documents in line with the FATF standard.
Providers were often strikingly insensitive even to clear criminal risks. The authors sent three main types of e-mail: the first from a low-risk alias from a country such as Norway or Australia; the second from a high-corruption-risk individual purporting to work in government procurement in such places as Kyrgyzstan and Equatorial Guinea; the third a terror-financing risk, working for a Muslim charity in Saudi Arabia. Providers were less likely to respond to the corruption category than the low-risk one, but also less likely to ask for identification when they did reply. Finding takers for the terrorist financier was harder, but not impossible: one in every 17 providers was willing to set up an anonymous shell for him.
Informing the incorporators of the international rules they should be following made them no more likely to do so, even when penalties were mentioned. When the undercover authors offered to pay a premium to flout the rules, the rate of demand for identity documents fell precipitously. “Your stated purpose could well be a front for funding terrorism,” one American provider replied—and then indicated he would consider establishing and administering the shell for $5,000 per month.
This study, by far the most thorough of its kind, makes sobering reading for anyone who worries about the link between financial crime and corporate secrecy. OECD countries show little willingness to tackle their own weaknesses and end their hypocrisy. In America, by some measures the least compliant of all, the incorporation-friendly states and business groups opposing reform continue to have the upper hand, despite valiant attempts by Senator Carl Levin to push through legislation that would require the registration of beneficial owners. Movers of dirty money know where the best shells are to be had, and it is not on a Caribbean island.
Rather too late in the game to preserve Zerohedge's credibility (if any, lol),
Tyler Durden on Zerohedge finally gets religion on Panama Papers = CIA.
This is how you figure out - website by website - who's a CIA Rat or not.
But you probably already scratched libertyblitzkrieg.com and zerohedge.
The article is Zerohedge doing a bit of ass-covering for them both....
But they need to sell you one more bit of ass-covering disinfo..
And in doing so, they blow another CIA asset: good 'ol Bradley Birkenfeld.
To build his cred - they have him opine that the CIA is behind the leak.
But note that he offers very little to back that up. No matter - his heart
is in the right place, eh? He's one of the good guys fighting the CIA, eh?
And then he dumps the disinfo on you. It's in RED CAPS below.
I've been telling you that the NWO burned Cameron deliberately
with a Panama leak - because they want England OUT of the EU - and
Cameron is an official cheerleader for staying IN....
Fearing that opinions like mine about the NWO's gameplan will spread,
the agency has Birkenfeld say Cameron was just COLLATERAL DAMAGE.
I love shaking my tail and wagging the CIA dog.
Swiss Bank Whistleblower Claims
Panama Papers Was A CIA Operation
Last Friday, I published a post titled, Was the Panama Papers “Leak” a Russian Intelligence Operation? Here’s some of what I wrote:
Initially, this seemed to be a theory worth exploring, but in the following days I’ve come to a far different conclusion. The primary divergence between what I currently believe and what Mr. Murray proposed is that I do not think the leaker was a genuine whistleblower motived by the public interest. I think the leaker was working on behalf of a sophisticated intelligence agency.
The fact that we seem to know nothing about “John Doe” concerns me. Say what you will about Edward Snowden, but he came out publicly shortly after his whistleblowing and offered himself up for the world to judge. His life, career and personality have been put on full display, and each and every one of us has had the opportunity to decide for ourselves whether his motivations were noble and pure or not.
With the Panama Papers’ “John Doe” we are given no such opportunity, and in fact, the whole thing reads very much like a script concocted by some big budget intelligence agency. Once I started coming around to this conclusion, the obvious choice was U.S. intelligence; given the lack of implications to powerful Americans, the clownishly desperate attempts to smear Putin, and the appearance of Soros, USAID, Ford Foundation, etc, linked organizations to the reporting.
So for someone who already thinks the whole Panama Papers story stinks to high heaven, a CIA link to the release seems obvious; but is it too obvious? Perhaps......
....At first, I assumed it was U.S. intelligence, but Mr. Gaddy puts forth a compelling theory. If this was the work of the CIA, it was an extremely sloppy and obvious hit job. On the other hand, if this was the work of Putin for the purposes of blackmail, it’s one of the most ingenious chess moves I’ve ever seen played on the global stage.....
Bradley Birkenfeld is the most significant financial whistleblower of all time, so you might think he’d be cheering on the disclosures in the new Panama Papers leaks. But today, Birkenfeld is raising questions about the source of the information that is shaking political regimes around the world......
In an exclusive interview Tuesday from Munich, Birkenfeld said he doesn’t think the source of the 11 million documents stolen from a Panamanian law firm should automatically be considered a whistleblower like himself. Instead, he said, the hacking of the Panama City-based firm, called Mossack Fonseca, could have been done by a U.S. intelligence agency.
“The CIA I’m sure is behind this, in my opinion,” Birkenfeld said.
Birkenfeld pointed to the fact that the political uproar created by the disclosures have mainly impacted countries with tense relationships with the United States. “The very fact that we see all these names surface that are the direct quote-unquote enemies of the United States, Russia, China, Pakistan, Argentina and we don’t see one U.S. name. Why is that?” Birkenfeld said. “Quite frankly, my feeling is that this is certainly an intelligence agency operation.”
Asked why the U.S. would leak information that has also been damaging to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, a major American ally, Birkenfeld said the British leader was likely COLLATERAL DAMAGE in a larger intelligence operation.
“If you’ve got NSA and CIA spying on foreign governments they can certainly get into a law firm like this,” Birkenfeld said. “But they selectively bring the information to the public domain that doesn’t hurt the U.S. in any shape or form. That’s wrong. And there’s something seriously sinister here behind this.”
_________________ Minds are like parachutes.
They only function when open.
Last edited by Fintan on Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:29 pm; edited 2 times in total
Pepe Escobar has another
in his Hybrid War series.
Very good analysis which
lays out more of the
Hybrid War, From Palmyra to Panama
by Pepe Escobar 16:49 07.04.2016
The Panama Papers, stripped to the bone, may reveal themselves, as I have
argued, essentially as an infowar operation initiated by the NSA – which
would conveniently target mostly Global South “enemies” (as in the BRICS
nations) and selected, disposable, Western pawns.
In its current stage, the Panama Papers have morphed into a weaponized psyops posing as an 'activist leak', straight from the Hybrid War playbook.
The relentless, expert mainstream media exposure has been at pains to portray the massive leak as "responsible journalism", yet without addressing eyebrow-raising questions on how the leak really came about; how 2.6 terabytes of data, including 5 million emails, have been selectively edited; how it was obtained without encryption; how there was not a single leak while the whole hoard was being sorted out by 400 or so reporters for over a year; and how the information is being selectively released.
"Responsible journalism" gatekeepers are spinning this came from a digital musketeer; a whistleblower. Not necessarily. The leak has already sparked a credibility war between WikiLeaks and the new mainstream leakers, the heavily compromised, Washington-based, US foundations-funded ICIJ.
The NSA thesis is sustained by the fact the NSA specializes in breaking into virtually any database and/or archive anywhere, stealing "secrets" and then selectively destroying/blackmailing/protecting assets and "enemies" according to US government interests. Add to it that Ramon Fonseca, founding partner of Mossack Fonseca, is stressing, "We rule out an inside job. This is not a leak. This is a hack."
Countering "strategic threats"
The Panama Papers function as much as a precision strike as a "message" for an array of players to toe the line — or else; after all, the leak/hack unveils a web of connections to several dozen companies, individuals and politicians across the Global South who are kind of superstars — or aspiring superstars — in US sanctions blacklists.
The obsessive mainstream media focus on the enemies and/or "strategic threats" to Exceptionalistan also raise eyebrows; here's how the Beijing leadership is expertly dissecting it.
In the Internet era, disinformation poses no major risks to Western influential elites or the West. In the long-run, it will become a new means for the ideology-allied Western nations to strike a blow to non-Western political elites and key organizations. http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/977162.shtml
The Panama Papers also happen to perfectly fit into a massive US trade deal offensive. You can read it as a reminder of the TPP-TTIP corporate power grab; if you don't join our play for US-controlled One World trade, we've got dirt on you.
It's naturally healthy to be offered at least a glimpse of the nasty undercurrents of turbocharged casino capitalism, a.k.a. "global financial system", where major banks and an army of financial sharks allow "secret" companies to park illicit and/or corrupt funds.
In parallel, it's enlightening to observe how all electronic money transactions are now totally traceable. The Panama Papers happen to come to light only a few months before an obscure global information-sharing treaty will be implemented. Whether global financial sharks will be able to circumvent it is an open question. Crucially; Panama is not part of the signatories.
On the crucial financial shark angle, over half of the companies listed in the massive leak/hack are registered in the UK — or "Crown dependencies". Savor the sweet smell of revenge by US corporate media denouncing what it practically amounts to the British Tax Evasion Empire.
Everyone knows the City of London largely operates as a world-class money laundering racket. Yet forget about British "responsible journalism" gatekeepers getting into the heart of it. It's much more popular to blame Putin as guilty by association than to examine how David Cameron's father, Ian, chose to keep the family money (and the future Prime Minister's inheritance) away from the tax man.
Or how the President of that NATO-friendly failed entity, Petro Poroshenko, stashes his wealth not in unruly Ukraine but "protected" in the Virgin Islands. And forget about investigating the former bureau chief of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Dov Weisglass, who, like Cameron's father and Poroshenko, is actually named in the Panama Papers.
Moreover, don't except a Cayman Papers or a Virgin Island Papers — the real deal — anytime soon. The real elite would never let it happen.
And then there's the ultimate Exceptionalistan angle. Even Bloomberg, three months ago, had formally announced to global public opinion that the top tax haven in the world is now the US — complete with notorious tax haven service provider Rothschild-in-Reno. Unlike Panama, whatever happens in Reno stays in Reno — and we're not talking wild lap-dancing nights deep in the Nevada desert.
Add to it a juicy deep state-connected source's take on the "only 441 Americans" (all of them still mysterious) named in the leak/hack; "The Nevada office of Mossack Fonseca received advance information via the NSA to alert Panama to delete all the records in Nevada.
The NSA is a political control mechanism. They have nothing to do with terrorism, and would have no idea where to look unless guided by Operation Gladio-style insiders."
The US government's war on fiscal paradises is, predictably, also selective. Switzerland has been a key target. Now Panama. Considering the NSA thesis, it's clear key American billionaires as well as key American corporations would have all been redacted out of the leak/hack.
The gold standard for the Panama Papers not to be regarded as a limited hangout cum psyops will be, for instance, whether HSBC, Coutts (a subsidiary of RBS) and UBS — all deeply connected with Mossack Fonseca — will be fully investigated. Whether oil trader Vitol, linked to Panama Paper-exposed Azerbaijan's ruler Ilham Aliyev, will be investigated. Whether Poroshenko will be investigated. Whether the nasty connections between Big Oil and Western Big Banking will be unveiled.
And of course after the Panama Papers assorted dodgy weapons dealers, drug barons, corrupt oligarchs and certified tax cheats may continue to be lavishly rewarded, undisturbed — as long as they know how to play the turbocharged casino capitalist game.
The Panama Papers are all about timing. Why now? After all, this massive hoard had been sitting under full scrutiny in total secrecy for over a year.
The Panama Papers totally fit into Hybrid War. As with the Car Wash investigation in Brazil — which is a spin-off of the NSA spying on Petrobras — the Panama Papers may be regarded as a Monster Truck Wash, with the target being the Global South, and the BRICS in particular.
It's not by accident that immediately after the leak/hack came to light, Pentagon supremo Ash Carter, speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington — a neighbor to the ICIJ — insisted once again the Pentagon needed to be more "agile" to fight the US's five strategic challenges, which he named, in that order, as "Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and terrorism."
Note the "threat" predominance of Russia, China and Iran — the key nodes of Eurasia integration, and all of them heavily featured on the Panama Papers, mostly in guilt by association mode.
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