How the US became one of the world’s biggest tax havens
In her piece for the Wonkblog section of The Washington Post, Ana Swanson argues that much of the global offshore industry is not really offshore. A 2012 study, quoted in the report, states that the US had the laxest regulations for setting up a shell company anywhere in the world outside of Kenya.
Part of the reason that the US looks so attractive as a tax and secrecy haven is that the country has not signed on to new global disclosure standards that are forcing anonymous companies to reveal their real owners around the world. Compared with other developed countries, and even traditional offshore destinations such as Switzerland and the British Virgin Islands, the US now appears to be among the most lenient and secure destinations for the fortunes of the global rich.
Revealed: the tycoons and world leaders who built secret UK property empires
The Guardian – one of the news organisations that along with The Indian Express investigated the Panama Papers, reported how billions of pounds of offshore cash flooded the British property market. From the president of the United Arab Emirates to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family to Former HSBC boss Michael Geoghegan – the Guardian investigation maps out how world leaders invested in prime Britain property.
World leaders, business people and celebrities are among those whose anonymous ownership of London property has been exposed by the massive leak of the Panama law firm’s data on offshore companies.
About the Panama Papers
The newsroom of German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung was where it all began. In a piece explaining how the Panama Papers leak came about, Süddeutsche writes about an anonymous source who contacted one of their journalists offering to share over 2.6 TB of data.
Over a year ago, an anonymous source contacted the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) and submitted encrypted internal documents from Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm that sells anonymous offshore companies around the world. These shell companies enable their owners to cover up their business dealings, no matter how shady.
Fund run by David Cameron’s father avoided paying tax in Britain
According to The Guardian, the Panama Papers reveal the details of how Ian Cameron sheltered Blairmore’s profits with a series of expensive and complicated arrangements.
Blairmore is shown to have been controlled using an obscure financial instrument known as bearer shares. These do not carry the name of the owner. They are similar to banknotes in that they simply belong to the person holding the certificate in their hand, The Guardian reported.
Panama Papers: Why No Big Splash or Times Participation?
In her column for The New York Times, Margaret Sullivan, the Times’s public editor, writes about why the Times did not have the story prominently displayed on its website and of how the publication missed being part of the consortium of journalists who exposed the Panama Papers.
Because The Times was not a part of the global consortium and was not aware that the story was coming, it needed some time to get its own story going. “We didn’t know these documents were out there and being worked on,” Sullivan quotes Matt Purdy, a deputy executive editor, as saying.
‘Panama Papers’ reveal Sharif family’s ‘offshore holdings’
After The Indian Express first broke the Nawaz Sharif offshore holdings story, based on data leaked from MF, Pakistan’s leading daily Dawn threaded cautiously carrying a front page anchor on its prime minister’s family.
According to documents available on the ICIJ website, the PM’s children Mariam, Hasan and Hussain “were owners or had the right to authorise transactions for several companies”. Mariam is described as “the owner of British Virgin Islands-based firms Nielsen Enterprises Limited and Nescoll Limited, incorporated in 1994 and 1993”.