Skip to main content



Here's What You Need To Know (So Far) About 'Panama Papers'

April 4, 20164:34 PM ET

People gather to demonstrate against Iceland's prime minister, in Reykjavik on Monday. Iceland's prime minister insisted he would not resign after documents leaked allegedly linked him to an offshore company that could represent a serious conflict of interest.Brynjar Gunnasrson/AP

Over the past year, investigative journalists across the world have been sifting through 11.5 million internal files from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

The files were leaked to the German paper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which shared the huge trove with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Stories about the data, which has been dubbed the Panama Papers, have been published by news organizations everywhere from Argentina to Sweden.

We know a lot about the trove of documents, but there's also a lot we don't know. (The ICIJ promises to release a full list of companies and the people linked to them in "early May.")

Here we try to answer some basic questions about the story.

— Who leaked the documents?

We don't know. Süddeutsche Zeitung only says that it was contacted by an "anonymous source" over a year ago.

Wired says that the 2.6 terabyte leak includes:

"... emails, contracts, transcriptions and scanned documents. In total, the leak contains: 4.8 million emails, three million database entries, two million PDFs, one million images and 320,000 text documents. The dataset is bigger than any from Wikileaks, or the Edward Snowden disclosures."

Ramon Fonseca, the director of Mossack Fonseca, told Reuters
that the firm had suffered "a successful but 'limited' hack."

— What do the documents reveal?

According to ICIJ, the documents make public the offshore accounts of 140 politicians and public officials. The documents don't necessarily detail anything illegal, but they do shine a light on the shadowy world of offshore finances.

Back in 2012, our friends at Planet Money set up their own shell company. Doing so, they explain why some people might want to legitimately hide some aspects of their business. But, as Adam Davidson put it at the time, it's hard to imagine that someone going through such great lengths to obfuscate parts of their business wants to do it for entirely legitimate reasons.

The allegations in many of the Panama Papers stories is that the individuals implicated were allegedly laundering money or hiding some connections that would be detrimental.

— What does the law firm Mossack Fonseca have to say about all this?

Basically that they have done nothing wrong. The firm sent a nine-page response to ICIJ saying that "we have not once in nearly 40 years of operation been charged with criminal wrongdoing."

Indeed, as The New York Times explains
, it is "not illegal in many cases to have offshore bank accounts. But they are used in some instances by wealthy individuals and criminals to hide money and business transactions, and to avoid paying taxes."

— What about the big names I've seen in headlines? Are they in trouble?

Maybe but a lot of what these documents reveal is circumstantial. For example, Vladimir Putin was not directly linked to any of these secret accounts. Instead, the documents reveal that close associates of the Russian leader funneled as much as $2 billion through offshore accounts.

In one case, an off-shore entity was given about $1 billion by a state-controlled Russian bank. That same entity, for example, also lent the owners of a ski resort about $11 million in 2010/11. According to The Guardian, Putin is a reputed guest of the resort and his daughter Katya got married at the resort in 2013.

Perhaps the most clear-cut case revealed so far comes from Iceland, where the documents show that country's prime minister, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, and his wife had a stake in a company seeking millions of dollars from failed Icelandic banks.

The Iceland Monitor reports
that thousands took to the streets and the alleged conflict of interest could bring the government "crashing down."

— What effect will this have on the off-shore world?

It depends on who you ask. Nigel Green, of the financial consultancy deVere Group, minimizes what the leak tells us. 

According to deVere, mechanisms are already in place around to the world to make it "almost impossible to hide money."

At Time, Rana Foroohar, who writes about the economy, says the revelations could lead to a "great crisis" for capitalism.

She writes:

"To me, this is one of the key issues at work in the U.S. presidential election. Voters know at a gut level that our system of global capitalism is working mainly for the 1 %, not the 99 %. That's a large part of why both Sanders and Trump have done well, because they tap into that truth, albeit in different ways. The Panama Papers illuminate a key aspect of why the system isn't working–because globalization has allowed the capital and assets of the 1 % (be they individuals or corporations) to travel freely, while those of the 99 % cannot. Globalization is supposed to be about the free movement of people, goods, and capital. But in fact, the system is set up to enable that mobility mainly for the rich (or for large corporations). The result is global tax evasion, the offshoring of labor, and an elite that flies 35,000 feet over the problems of nation states and the tax payers within them."

— Is there one story I should read about this?

To understand the issue, listen to the Planet Money piece we embedded above. To understand how all of this can affect an entire city, read the Miami Herald's piece based on the papers.

The Herald reports that shadowy corporations may be propping up the condo market in the city. It may not be all dirty money flowing through South Florida but these documents connect some politicians in Brazil who are under investigation for corruption to some super fancy condos in Miami.

The bottom line, the paper reports: "Money from people linked to wrongdoing abroad is helping to power the gleaming condo towers rising on South Florida's waterfront and pushing home prices far beyond what most locals can afford."

Popular posts from this blog


While "Flavor" is very subjective, and each country that grows mangoes is very nationalistic, these are the mango varieties that are the most sought after around the world because of sweetnesss (Brix) and demand.

The Chaunsa has a Brix rating in the 22 degree level which is unheard of!
Carabao claims to be the sweetest mango in the world and was able to register this in the Guiness book of world records.
Perhaps it is time for a GLOBAL taste test ???

In alphabetical order by Country....



Alphonso (mango)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alphonso (हापुस Haapoos in Marathi, હાફુસ in Gujarati, ಆಪೂಸ್ Aapoos in Kannada) is a mango cultivar that is considered by many[who?] to be one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. 

It has considerable shelf life of a week after it is ripe making it exportable. 

It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in Kokan region of western India.

 It is in season April through May and the fruit wei…

Mangoes date back 65 million years according to research ...

Experts at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP) here have traced the origin of mango to the hills of Meghalaya, India from a 65 million year-old fossil of a mango leaf. 

The earlier fossil records of mango (Mangifera indica) from the Northeast and elsewhere were 25 to 30 million years old. The 'carbonized leaf fossil' from Damalgiri area of Meghalaya hills, believed to be a mango tree from the peninsular India, was found by Dr R. C. Mehrotra, senior scientist, BSIP and his colleagues. 

After careful analysis of the fossil of the mango leaf and leaves of modern plants, the BISP scientist found many of the fossil leaf characters to be similar to mangifera.

An extensive study of the anatomy and morphology of several modern-day species of the genus mangifera with the fossil samples had reinforced the concept that its centre of origin is Northeast India, from where it spread into neighbouring areas, says Dr. Mehrotra. 

The genus is believed to have disseminated into neighb…

DHL (INDIA) makes gifting mangoes as easy as 1-2-3-....

Gifting mangoes is now easy with DHL
Announcement / Corporate

 May 19, 2011, 14:04 IST

Come this summer pamper your loved ones abroad with a box of delicious mangoes through DHL’s Express Easy Mango service, a unique one-stop-shop and hassle-free service for gifting mangoes all across the world.

This unique service by DHL Express, the world’s leading express company, allows customers to send mangoes from India across the world to the following countries Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Hong Kong, Italy, Luxemburg, Maldives, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Qatar Singapore, Switzerland and Sweden.

Mangoes can be availed of free of cost by merely paying for the Air Express service. In addition, DHL Express assists customers with the necessary paperwork along with procurement of quality-grade Alphonso mangoes.

Commenting on the new service, Mr. R.S Subramanian, Country Head, DHL Express India said: “With the advent of the mango season, it is no wonder that DHL Express Ea…