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Wed Apr 6, 2016, 03:53 PM

Beyond Panama: What the World Really Needs is the #DelawarePapers

Published on Wednesday, April 06, 2016

by Common Dreams

Beyond Panama: What the World Really Needs is the #DelawarePapers

'That giant sucking sound you hear? It is the sound of money rushing to the U.S.A.'

by Nika Knight, staff writer

Panama saw populist protests on Wednesday in response to Panama Papers revelations that the nation's lax tax laws are providing a haven for the world's wealthiest to stash their cash. But in the United States, where observers note that corporate greed is surely not lacking, the leak has yet to produce such a grassroots display of outrage.

This may be because U.S. one-percenters have largely escaped the leak unscathed (more Czech nationals were named in the documents than Americans), and also because wealthy Americans already call one of the world's foremost tax havens their home.

Beyond Panama

"The U.S. is one of the easiest places to set up an anonymous shell company to move ill-gotten gains around the world. It’s also one of the most popular places to do so for the criminal and corrupt," writes the UK-based anti-corruption group Global Witness.

Mossack Fonseca, the tax advisory firm whose documents were leaked in the Panama Papers, had set up offices in Nevada and Wyoming—two of the most egregious tax havens in the U.S.—so as to better enable the firm to take advantage of those states' lax laws on behalf of its international clients.

The phenomenon is not a new one. "Already the largest location for managing foreign wealth," the Economist wrote back in February, the U.S. "has picked up business as regulators have increased information-exchange and scrutiny of banks and trust companies in Europe and the Caribbean. Money is said to be flowing in from the Bahamas and Bermuda, as well as from Switzerland."


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