The Pirate Party are poised to form Iceland's government in Saturday's election

Last April, the Icelandic government nearly toppled when Parliament was dissolved, after the Panama Papers revealed that Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson was laundering money with Mossack Fonseca -- only fear of the popular groundswell for the Pirate Party drove the establishment to keep the government limping along -- until now. Read the rest

Lickspittle consigliere: how the super-rich abuse their wealth managers as loyalty tests

Sociologist Brooke Harrington got her Trust and Estate Planning certification in order to study the super-secretive world of the wealth managers who are in charge of hiding the $21 trillion controlled by the world's super-rich from tax authorities, feckless descendants, religious leaders, tax justice activists, kidnappers and extortionists. Read the rest

Stiglitz quits Panama's official money-laundering panel over internal sabotage

Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has resigned from the Panamanian committee set up to probe the country's money-laundering industry in the wake of the Panama Papers leak, because the Panamanian government has reneged on its promise to publish the committee's findings and now says it will keep them secret. Read the rest

How to pay no taxes at all! (if you're Apple, Google or Facebook)

In only 7 minutes, Australian comedy show The Undercurrent explains exactly how companies like Apple, Google and Facebook use offshore registration, transfer payments, debt loading and tax havens to get a lower tax rate than nurses, starving their host countries like Australia of so much money that they're cutting schools, medicare, public broadcasting, climate change and indigenous services. Read the rest

Iceland's Pirate Party to receive millions in election funding

Iceland's elections are publicly funded, with funds awarded based on polls of the electorate; the Pirates have consistently polled higher than any other party, and the incumbent coalition (whose parties are polling in the single digits) has been scrambling to avoid a general election after the Panama Papers revealed that he had secret offshore accounts that benefited from his bailout of Iceland's planet-destroying banks. Read the rest

NZ Prime Minister John Key ejected from Parliament over Panama Papers rant

John Key, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, was ejected from the country's parliamentary debating chamber yesterday when he repeated ignored the Speaker of the House's calls to yield the floor, continuing to rant even after his microphone had been cut off. Read the rest

300 prominent economists call on world governments to end tax haven secrecy

Oxfam has published an open letter signed by hundreds of respected economists, including Thomas Piketty, which describes tax havens as "serving no useful economic purpose." Read the rest

Panama Papers: New Zealand is the go-to money launderer for crooked Latin Americans

A joint report by RNZ, TVNZ and Nicky Hager accuses New Zealand of being at the heart of a gigantic money-laundering operation for the corrupt elites of Latin America. Read the rest

Panama Papers whistleblower issues statement, naming and shaming failed states and institutions

"John Doe," the mysterious whistleblower who released the largest-ever leak of confidential documents in world history -- papers from the Panamanian law firm Mossack-Fonseca, a key player in the offshore dark money industry -- has published their first-ever public statement. Read the rest

U.S. opens criminal investigation into Panama Papers over tax avoidance claims

In New York, a federal prosecutor has opened a criminal investigation around the “Panama Papers,” an archive of materials leaked from a Panamanian law firm that reveal a massive, secretive network of places where the world's most rich hide their riches. Read the rest

UK Chancellor exempts families of "Politically Exposed Persons" from money laundering scrutiny

George Osborne, the Tory chancellor of David Cameron's UK government, has amended the Bank of England and Financial Services Bill to exempt the families of "Politically Exposed Persons" -- Members of Parliament and other elites -- from money laundering investigations. Read the rest

Podcast explains the corrosive effects of tax havens

Nicholas Shaxon, author of Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens (previously) appeared on The Foreign Desk podcast (MP3) this week to discuss the nature of tax havens, how they hollow out both their host countries and the countries whence their hidden riches comes. Read the rest

No, tax-havens aren't good for society (duh)

As the Panama Papers story unfolds and we learn more about the systematic world-scale corruption of offshore tax-havens, the usual suspects have mounted a charm-offensive top defend anonymous offshore bank accounts as critical to democracy and a check against the rise of fascism (no, really). Read the rest

Heads of UK's tax havens to Her Majesty's Government: go fuck yourself

When the premiers of the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands (British Overseas Territories that are notorious tax-havens) visited the UK last year, Tory government ministers sent formal letters asking for meetings with them to discuss tax evasion. The premiers never answered the letters. Read the rest

Panama's public prosecutor says he can't find any evidence of Mossack-Fonseca's lawbreaking

Following Tuesday's raid on disgraced offshore incorporation lawfirm Mossack-Fonseca, Panama's public prosecutor has announced that he can't find any evidence of wrongdoing in the firm's files. Read the rest

Panama Papers: Mossack Fonseca law offices raided by Panama authorities

Officers acting on behalf of the attorney general of Panama raided Mossack Fonseca's office on Tuesday. Ramon Fonseca, the company's co-founder, insists that the firm had "broken no laws, destroyed no documents, and all its operations were legal." Read the rest

Panama Papers reveal offshore companies were bagmen for the world's spies

What do you do if you're a spy and you want to make untraceable transfers of dirty money without having your funding of your country's nominal enemies exposed to the voters whose money you're spending? You hire Mossack Fonseca to open a numbered account in an offshore tax-haven, naturally. Read the rest

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