A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist takes us inside the world revealed by the Panama Papers, a landscape of illicit money, political corruption, and fraud on a global scale.
A hidden circulatory system flows beneath the surface of global finance, carrying trillions of dollars from drug trafficking, tax evasion, bribery, and other illegal enterprises. This network masks the identities of the individuals who benefit from these activities, aided by bankers, lawyers, and auditors who get paid to look the other way.
In Secrecy World, the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Jake Bernstein explores this shadow economy and how it developed, drawing on millions of leaked documents from the files of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca – a trove now known as the Panama Papers – as well as other journalistic and government investigations. Bernstein shows how shell companies allow the uberwealthy and celebrities to escape taxes and provides cover for illicit activities on a massive scale by crime bosses and corrupt politicians across the globe.
Bernstein has traveled to Latin America, Europe, and within the United States to uncover how these strands fit together – who is involved, how they operate, and the real-world impact. He also recounts how Mossack Fonseca was finally exposed and what lies ahead for the corporations, banks, law firms, individuals, and governments that are implicated.
Secrecy World offers a disturbing and sobering view of how the world really works and raises crucial questions about financial and legal institutions we may once have trusted.