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Corruption abroad? What about thieving here?

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08.10.2021

My first reaction when I read the secret details from the Pandora Papers about how the world’s rich hide their assets was: What else is new?

Do we need 11.9 million records leaked from 14 firms in the offshore financial services industries and an international consortium of investigative journalists including media partners like The Washington Post to tell us that Vladimir Putin’s alleged mistress bought a luxury apartment in Monaco? Or that Jordan’s king amassed $100 million in concealed property in Malibu, California, London and Washington?

Kremlin corruption under Putin and his oligarchs is legendary, and any Jordanian can talk of financial folderol in the royal palace. Is anyone startled when the investigators claim to have information on more than 330 politicians and public officials from over 90 countries and territories, including many leaders?

No, because we — myself included — have become too inured to this stuff. In 2016 the Panama Papers, a similar investigative journalism cull, laid bare the corruption of the offshore banking industry, and nothing much happened. Now the Pandora Papers claim to have dirt on twice as many public officials. So?

Indeed, spiraling public corruption has not only become the new normal abroad but is ensconced at home, where the Trump presidency made it a central feature of the White House. In fact, what bothered me most, in my initial reading of the Pandora........

© Olean Times Herald


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