Greased Palms: Biden Unlikely to Tighten Screws on US Rich & Tax Havens, Observers Say by Ekaterina Blinova for Sputnik News
The Pandora Papers leak is serious cause for concern for the world’s rich and powerful, exposing their secret deals and hidden assets. The dump details over 29,000 offshore accounts – double the number identified in 2016 in the so-called Panama Papers, which was regarded at the time as the largest data leak journalists had ever worked with.
The Pandora trove consists of 11.9 million files that shed light on offshore structures and trusts in tax havens, such as Panama, Dubai, Monaco, Switzerland, and the Cayman Islands. In addition, the huge leak has revealed the explosive growth of offshore banking inside the US: specifically, South Dakota and Nevada, which are among the states that have “adopted financial secrecy laws that rival those of offshore jurisdictions.”
In the aftermath of the leak the Biden administration announced that “it’s time to deal in hard working Americans and ensure the super-wealthy pay their fair share” and vowed to “crack down on the unfair schemes that give big corporations a leg up.” Earlier this year, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called upon G20 leaders to implement a global minimum corporate tax rate above the 15 percent floor in order to prevent the super-rich from avoiding taxes.
Yet Another Blow to Washington After Afghanistan Debacle
“The fact is that the Pandora Papers spotlight the offshore system, with the US emerging as a critical place in the offshore world,” says Adriel Kasonta, a London-based foreign affairs analyst and former chairman of the International Affairs Committee at Bow Group, a conservative think tank in the UK. “According to the investigation, almost $360 billion in customer assets is placed in South Dakota trusts. Some of it is tied to foreign individuals and companies accused of human rights abuses and other wrongdoing.”
The Pandora Papers have dealt yet another blow to Washington’s image in the wake of the Afghan chaotic withdrawal, according to the analyst. Kasonta expects that the Republicans will push the president and Democrats “to do more to save the good name of the US in the eyes of the international community and public.”