Pandora papers: biggest ever leak of offshore data exposes financial secrets of rich and powerful

The secret deals and hidden assets of some of the world’s richest and most powerful people have been revealed in the biggest trove of leaked offshore data in history.

Follow The Money
Branded the Pandora papers, the cache includes 11.9m files from companies hired by wealthy clients to create offshore structures and trusts in tax havens such as Panama, Dubai, Monaco, Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.

They expose the secret offshore affairs of 35 world leaders, including current and former presidents, prime ministers and heads of state. They also shine a light on the secret finances of more than 300 other public officials such as government ministers, judges, mayors and military generals in more than 90 countries.

The files include disclosures about major donors to the Conservative party, raising difficult questions for Boris Johnson as his party meets for its annual conference.

More than 100 billionaires feature in the leaked data, as well as celebrities, rock stars and business leaders. Many use shell companies to hold luxury items such as property and yachts, as well as incognito bank accounts. There is even art ranging from looted Cambodian antiquities to paintings by Picasso and murals by Banksy.

The Pandora papers reveal the inner workings of what is a shadow financial world, providing a rare window into the hidden operations of a global offshore economy that enables some of the world’s richest people to hide their wealth and in some cases pay little or no tax.

There are emails, memos, incorporation records, share certificates, compliance reports and complex diagrams showing labyrinthine corporate structures. Often, they allow the true owners of opaque shell companies to be identified for the first time.

The files were leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in Washington. It shared access to the leaked data with select media partners including the Guardian, BBC Panorama, Le Monde and the Washington Post. More than 600 journalists have sifted through the files as part of a massive global investigation.

The Pandora papers represent the latest – and largest in terms of data volume – in a series of major leaks of financial data that have convulsed the offshore world since 2013.

Setting up or benefiting from offshore entities is not itself illegal, and in some cases people may have legitimate reasons, such as security, for doing so. But the secrecy offered by tax havens has at times proven attractive to tax evaders, fraudsters and money launderers, some of whom are exposed in the files.

Continue reading at source…. https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/oct/03/pandora-papers-biggest-ever-leak-of-offshore-data-exposes-financial-secrets-of-rich-and-powerful

Americans Owe $140 Billion in Medical Debt to Collection Agencies

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that Americans now have over $140 billion in unpaid medical bills owed to collection agencies. The figure is nearly twice as high as the most recent data from several years ago. But the country’s total medical debt is even higher, as the $140 billion does not include bills owed directly to health providers or credit card debt from medical expenses. Republican-run states that chose not to expand Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act had the highest debts.

domestic empire says:

Don’t Let It Happen Here

If the Tories get their way and push through privatisation of the NHS, UK citizens will similarly face mountainous debt. The health of the UK should not be in private hands. The NHS is public property, and must remain so. Vote to protect the NHS. Vote out Tories.

Sources:

Medical Debt in the US, 2009-2020 (American Medical Association)

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2782187

False Vaccine Efficacy Figures Revealed by Lancet Peer Review

The Lancet Peer reviewed study confirms vaccine efficacy, not as 95% stated by the vaccine companies who have deceived everyone by reporting Relative Risk Reduction (RRR) rather than Absolute Risk Reduction (ARR). but as:

The Lancet Peer reviewed study confirms vaccine efficacy as follows.

Astra Zeneca 1.3%

Moderna 1.2%

J&J 1.2%

Pfizer 0.84%

Source:

COVID-19 vaccine efficacy and effectiveness—the elephant (not) in the room
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanmic/article/PIIS2666-5247

Download or read the results of the study directly from The Lancet in PDF: https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S2666-5247%2821%2900069-0

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Matt Hancock Acted Unlawfully Over Pandemic Contracts

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56125462

Matt Hancock acted unlawfully when his department did not reveal details of contracts it had signed during the Covid pandemic, a court has ruled.

Smug ‘entitled’ Tory prick, Hancock. (Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty)

A judge said the health secretary had “breached his legal obligation” by not publishing details within 30 days of contracts being signed.The public had a right to know where the “vast” amounts spent had gone and how contracts were awarded, he added.The government said it fully recognised the “importance of transparency”. But Labour claimed the government’s awarding of contracts was “plagued by a lack of transparency, cronyism and waste”. The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has struck deals worth hundreds of millions of pounds during the coronavirus pandemic.

‘Wholesale failure’

Campaign group the Good Law Project and three MPs – Labour’s Debbie Abrahams, Green Caroline Lucas and Lib Dem Layla Moran – took legal action against the department over its “wholesale failure” to disclose details of the contracts agreed.Under the law, the government is required to publish a “contract award notice” within 30 days of the awarding any contracts for public goods or services worth more than £120,000.The Good Law Project also claimed that the government breached its own transparency policy, which requires the publication of details of public contracts worth more than £10,000.In his ruling, Mr Justice Chamberlain said: “There is now no dispute that, in a substantial number of cases, the secretary of state breached his legal obligation to publish contract award notices within 30 days of the award of contracts.”There is also no dispute that the secretary of state failed to publish redacted contracts in accordance with the transparency policy.”The judge said the health secretary had spent “vast quantities” of public money on Covid-related goods and services during 2020.”The public were entitled see who this money was going to, what it was being spent on and how the relevant contracts were awarded,” he added.He said this was important so that competitors of those awarded contracts could understand whether the obligations had been breached.

The judge also said publishing the details allowed bodies such as the National Audit Office, as well as Parliament and the public, to “scrutinise and ask questions about this expenditure”.Mr Justice Chamberlain acknowledged that the situation faced by the DHSC during the first few months of the pandemic had been “unprecedented”.He said it was “understandable that attention was focused on procuring what was thought necessary to save lives”.But he added that the DHSC’s “historic failure” to publish details of contracts awarded during the pandemic was “an excuse, not a justification”.However, the judge dismissed the Good Law Project’s argument that there had been a department-wide “policy of de-prioritising compliance” with the law and guidance.

‘Cronyism’

“This judgement is a victory for all of us concerned with proper governance and proof of the power of litigation to hold government to account,” the Good Law Project said in a statement. “But there is still a long way to go before the government’s house is in order.”The DHSC said the government had been “working tirelessly” to deliver what was needed to protect health and social care staff during the pandemic.”This has often meant having to award contracts at speed to secure the vital supplies required to protect NHS workers and the public.”A spokeswoman added: “We fully recognise the importance of transparency in the award of public contracts and continue to publish information about contracts awarded as soon as possible.”For Labour, shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves called the judgement “troubling and unsurprising, and a perfect example of how this government believes it is one rule for them another for the rest of us”. She added: “This government’s contracting has been plagued by a lack of transparency, cronyism and waste and they must take urgent steps to address this now – by winding down emergency procurement, urgently releasing details of the VIP fast lane, and publishing all outstanding contracts by the end of the month.”

source: BBC https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56125462