Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite

I bought this VERY IMPORTANT BOOK for a VERY, VERY LOW PRICE today (as in 90% off, haha!)


Global private wealth has steadily increased in recent years, from $ 121.8 trillion in 2010 to $ 166.5 trillion in 2016. An estimated 8 percent of the world’s household financial wealth is held in the secrecy world…

…Not surprisingly, the ease by which wealth is transferred through the secrecy world has become a major contributor to global inequality. The effects are everywhere around us. Money hijacked by the secrecy world is no longer available to pay for infrastructure, build schools, or police communities. It has led to the spiraling cost of real estate in major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and London. The wealthy eager to park their money in safe assets are bidding up prices by grabbing properties in these places. They often buy through anonymous companies that keep their identities secret from tax collectors at home and abroad. In the last quarter of 2015, the buyers of 58 percent of all property purchases in the United States worth more than $ 3 million were LLCs. They spent a total of $ 61.2 billion. The biggest abusers of the secrecy world are multinational corporations. They base their operations in places that provide minimal taxes and maximum secrecy like Delaware, the Cayman Islands, and Luxembourg. After they were exposed, [this law firm’s principals] insisted they were no different from these corporations. They were simply behaving the way accountants, bankers, lawyers, and trust companies operate every day.

They were right.

(Prologue, pp. 1- 4)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A compelling, fast-paced narrative . . . enlightening and deeply troubling.”–Texas Monthly, “Best Books of 2017”

“[Bernstein] concentrates on telling the stories of those who broke the law, evaded taxes, circumvented international sanctions, hid assets, cheated partners, or ‘normalized’ fortunes made through crime and corruption.” ―The Washington Post

“A searching look at the tangled, deeply buried financial network exposed by the publication of the so-called Panama Papers. . . . Bernstein does first-rate work in providing a map to a scandal that has yet to unfold completely.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Well sourced and nontechnical, this work reads like the script to the next James Bond film.”―Library Journal

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