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A hidden circulatory system flows beneath the surface of global finance, carrying trillions of dollars from drug trafficking, tax evasion, bribery, and other illegal enterprises. This network masks the identities of the individuals who benefit from these activities, aided by bankers, lawyers, and auditors who get paid to look the other way. In Secrecy World, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Jake Bernstein explores this shadow economy and how it developed, drawing on millions of leaked documents from the files of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca - a trove now known as the Panama Papers - as well as other journalistic and government investigations. Bernstein shows how shell companies allow the uber wealthy and celebrities to escape taxes and provide cover for illicit activities on a massive scale by crime bosses and corrupt politicians across the globe.
Bernstein has traveled to Latin America and Europe and within the United States to uncover how these strands fit together - who is involved, how they operate, and the real-world impact. He also recounts how Mossack Fonseca was finally exposed and what lies ahead for the corporations, banks, law firms, individuals, and governments that were implicated.
Secrecy World offers a disturbing and sobering view of how the world really works and raises crucial questions about financial and legal institutions we may once have trusted. This audiobook discusses the fragile scaffolding upholding any tax haven, the flexible laws of banking, and the radiating impact of an international financial scandal.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Philo on 11-26-17
Fulfills its promise admirably
I liked this better than the original Panama Papers book (also here on audible). The previous book was rather preoccupied with the experiences and fears of a couple of reporters. This one ranges further, with ease. It is colorfully told, with not only nuts and bolts of deals, but personalities and locations neatly described, and broader histories, with more background, into the laws and concepts behind the surfaces we see. This sort of business spans Fortune 100 firms, wealthy folks seeking privacy for understandable reasons, pretty dire international criminals, and everything in between. There are many dimensions to all this, and this work moves fluently from one to another. As it turns out, the regions, governments and cultures have their own points of view, and all this is deftly captured here. The author's narration is not shining, but serviceable enough.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
By Dr. W on 11-26-17
Explores the exploitation of the world
What a compelling book. Bernstein helps one understand the complex legal, but unethical, and then also illegal and unethical revelations in the Panama papers and other leaked documents that have enabled a group of intrepid reporters to expose how the rich get richer and the rest of us not only get poorer, but likely are funding their corruption. Highly recommend!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful