News Release

More Panama Papers and $12 Trillion Offshore


48743721.cachedThe International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has announced that on May 9, it will release “a searchable database with information on more than 200,000 offshore entities that are part of the Panama Papers investigation.”

In her new piece “Gimme Shelter (From the Tax Man) Disappearing Money and Opportunistic Candidates,” banking expert Nomi Prins notes that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump share “companies registered at the same address (also ‘shared’ by 285,000 other companies) in Wilmington, Delaware. In other words, they make use of the ‘Delaware loophole,’ which allows for the legal shifting of earnings from elsewhere in the country to the ultimate tax haven state in the U.S.”

KEVIN G. HALL, khall at, @KevinGHall
MARISA TAYLOR, mtaylor at, @marisaataylor
Hall is chief economics correspondent and Taylor is an investigative reporter for McClatchy, which has been the leading U.S. newspaper involved in the year-long effort. McClatchy’s recent articles include “What Panama Papers say — and don’t say — about Trump.”

Hall said today: “The amount of information in the Panama Papers is enormous. We expect important stories to be coming out not just in the coming weeks, but months. … The information revealed especially exposes companies involved in Ponzi schemes and the like. However, the truly sophisticated rich likely have their money in places like the English-speaking Cayman Islands or through sophisticated financial instruments that are realistically only an option for the very wealthy.”

Leading economics writer David Cay Johnston profiles the work of James Henry in his new piece at The Daily Beast: “How the Kleptocrats’ $12 Trillion Heist Helps Keep Most of the World Impoverished.”

JAMES HENRY, jamesshelburnehenry at, @submergingmkt
Henry’s books include The Blood Bankers: Tales from the Global Underground Economy and the forthcoming The Pirate Bankers.

Johnston’s piece states: “For the first time we have a reliable estimate of how much money thieving dictators and others have looted from 150 mostly poor nations and hidden offshore: $12.1 trillion.

“That huge figure equals a nickel on each dollar of global wealth and yet it excludes the wealthiest regions of the planet: America, Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

“That so much money is missing from these poorer nations explains why vast numbers of people live in abject poverty even in countries where economic activity per capita is above the world average. In Equatorial Guinea, for example, the national economy’s output per person comes to 60 cents for each dollar Americans enjoy, measured using what economists call purchasing power equivalents, yet living standards remain abysmal. …

“One determined person combed 45 years of official statistics from around the world to calculate the flight wealth for nearly 200 countries that publish comparable economic data.

“That’s Jim Henry, who was a rising corporate star until he gave it all up to document illicit flows of money and the damage they do to billions of people.

“Henry has been the chief economist at McKinsey & Co., arguably the world’s most influential business consultancy, and worked directly under Jack Welch at General Electric. A Harvard-educated economist and lawyer, Henry calls himself an investigative economist. His approach is simple: ‘Just look at the effing data and solve the puzzle’ of mismatches between the various official sources. From his home in Sag Harbor, near the tip of Long Island, Henry has painstakingly built massive spreadsheets to reveal the mismatches that indicate capital flight. He then fleshes out what the data show by interviewing bankers and bank regulators, government economists, law enforcement officials, and even some of the retainers who help kleptocrats loot the countries they rule.

“Henry, a consultant on the Panama Papers journalism project, has released some of his findings at a global Tax Justice Network meeting in London. He shared a fuller set of his data with me.”

Comedian Larry Wilmore quipped at the White House Correspondents Dinner this weekend: “I am impressed with the people in this room. There are so many rich, powerful people in this room. You know, it’s nice to finally match the names to the faces in the Panama Papers.”