It may be that nothing in these disclosures of offshore secret financial transactions and tax havens for the über rich is of a criminal nature, though that is unlikely. The real issue will be how this is dealt with in the media domestically and in Europe. Given that the corporate news media doles out news as if the American people have the attention span of a goldfish. The problem, of course, being that the American people do indeed seem to have the attention span of a goldfish, perhaps even a tad less. Thus we now move from one scandal to the next in relatively rapid fire. In a few days they move on. Mass murder in Las Vegas disappears almost overnight, though this was likely directed by the Deep State, yet few seem to even be asking about it except for the alternative media and the families of the victims. Weinstein becomes Spacey becomes Texas church atrocity and on and on, though always with the constant anti-Trump cacophony in the background.
If the Paradise Papers has legs, not only in the corporate media, but in the halls of Congress, then the revelations could have a serious effect on tax reform and related issues. If the visibility and cause lasts until there is an economic downturn, which is inevitably coming and sooner than the purveyors of financial advice and the pundits on Wall Street profess, then the idea that the rich and powerful are not required to abide by the same rules as the 99% it will become one more catalyst to fan the flames of discontent and reinforce the socialist undertow that is building in America, particularly among the millennials.
The wealth gap is going to become a bigger and bigger issue, despite the Trump effect. President Trump, so far has thrown the appropriate bones to his voting block and the economy has improved, but on the back of significant increases in deficit spending and the continued low interest rates provided by the Fed. However, this is changing, at least on the monetary side. Even a modest reduction in the Fed’s balance sheet will have a greater impact than most are discussing, as the second derivative, the year over year shift of deleveraging against adding will be significant. A recovery built on debt is fragile indeed.
If real wages do not improve significantly, which may be difficult if the tightened labor markets and the massive monetary flood over the past eight years finally leads, as is inevitable, to an inflationary world, the middle class and the huge cohort bulge of millennials will become anything but docile. Issues raised by disclosures like the Paradise Papers will only add fuel to the fire. However, events will very likely put this issue in the dark memory hole of oblivion as we seem to have far more pressing matters ahead of us.
There is this small group of people who are not equally subject to the laws as the rest of us, and that’s on purpose
A trove of 13.4 million records exposes ties between Russia and U.S. President Donald Trump’s billionaire commerce secretary, the secret dealings of the chief fundraiser for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the offshore interests of the queen of England and more than 120 politicians around the world.
The leaked documents, dubbed the Paradise Papers, show how deeply the offshore financial system is entangled with the overlapping worlds of political players, private wealth and corporate giants, including Apple, Nike, Uber and other global companies that avoid taxes through increasingly imaginative bookkeeping maneuvers.
One offshore web leads to Trump’s commerce secretary, private equity tycoon Wilbur Ross, who has a stake in a shipping company that has received more than $68 million in revenue since 2014 from a Russian energy company co-owned by the son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In all, the offshore ties of more than a dozen Trump advisers, Cabinet members and major donors appear in the leaked data.
The new files come from two offshore services firms as well as from 19 corporate registries maintained by governments in jurisdictions that serve as waystations in the global shadow economy. The leaks were obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and a network of more than 380 journalists in 67 countries.
The promise of tax havens is secrecy – offshore locales create and oversee companies that often are difficult, or impossible, to trace back to their owners. While having an offshore entity is often legal, the built-in secrecy attracts money launderers, drug traffickers, kleptocrats and others who want to operate in the shadows. Offshore companies, often “shells” with no employees or office space, are also used in complex tax-avoidance structures that drain billions from national treasuries.
The offshore industry makes “the poor poorer” and is “deepening wealth inequality,” said Brooke Harrington, a certified wealth manager and Copenhagen Business School professor who is the author of ‘Capital without Borders: Wealth Managers and the One Percent.’
“There is this small group of people who are not equally subject to the laws as the rest of us, and that’s on purpose,” Harrington said. These people “live the dream” of enjoying “the benefits of society without being subject to any of its constraints.”
Senate finance committee member Ron Wyden also spoke about the significance of the papers’ revelations and blamed the Republican Congress for failing to close loopholes revealed by the leaks:
As a result Republicans were rewarding, the duo said, “wealthy billionaires like secretary Wilbur Ross for dodging taxes, while punishing many in the middle class with new tax hikes. If you deduct medical expenses or student loan interest from your taxable income, the Republican plan comes after your wallet. But if you stash your billions in secret bank accounts overseas, their plan gives you the green light to keep doing what you’ve been doing.”
They added that the Paradise Papers were “proof positive that the Republican tax plan favors the wealthy and betrays the middle class in this country, who are the ones left carrying the financial burden of massive corporate tax avoidance”.
Millennials: Communism sounds pretty chill – MarketWatch
According to the latest survey from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a D.C.-based nonprofit, one in two U.S. millennials say they would rather live in a socialist or communist country than a capitalist democracy.
What’s more, 22% of them have a favorable view of Karl Marx and a surprising number see Joseph Stalin and Kim Jong Un as “heroes.”
Really, that’s what the numbers show.
“Millennials now make up the largest generation in America, and we’re seeing some deeply worrisome trends,” said Marion Smith, executive director of the organization. “Millennials are increasingly turning away from capitalism and toward socialism and even communism as a viable alternative.”
But do they even know what it is?
The survey, which was conducted by research and data firm YouGov, found that millennials are the least knowledgable generation on the subject, with 71% failing to identify the proper definition of communism.
Smith explained that this “troubling turn” highlights pervasive historical illiteracy across the country and “the systemic failure of our education system to teach students about the genocide, destruction, and misery caused by communism since the Bolshevik Revolution one hundred years ago.”