The Panama Papers spotlight the latest internecine backstabbing among our global elite. An otherwise obscure Panamanian legal firm was apparently hacked or perhaps burgled, resulting in its files sudden publication. Those files seem to be endless lists of the planets wealthy and powerful hiding from taxes. Plus of course, outright criminals.
No one is saying who secured the files or published them, but the U.S. government is a prime suspect. Particularly as there is a paucity of Americans among those listed therein. Suspicious, that. American politicians and otherwise wealthy are not known t be less averse to taxes than the rest of the world. Hacking has become a political weapon. “What is this I see before me, handle toward my hand?” A keyboard? In Shakespeare’s day it was a dagger, but we’re high tech now. The game is the same.The game is after all, being played by the same species, for the same stakes.
The Prime Minister of Iceland was the first political victim; he has resigned over revelations of his financial maneuvering. The word is that more august victims will follow. Unless we suppose, they somehow satisfy the requirements of whomever purloined the heist. We are supposing extortion, though of course we don’t know.
If the lack of U.S. tax dodgers is indeed a result of U.S. government involvement, it also suggests that such government has moved into position to collect much more from those who have heretofore been hiding in Panama. From the Washington view, we’d call that a win – lose game.
Add that if America’s rich folk prefer their wealth offshore these days, perhaps the rest of us ought to be thinking about how much we keep in the country’s banking system ourselves …
Will the “news” media keep us aware of whomever is found hiding in Panama as the scene develops? Including any Americans? Stay tuned; no bets here. But if the entire scene doesn’t disappear overnight like Ebola, it ought to be fun.