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The Panama Papers – What Happens When Corruption Is Systemic


The Panama Papers – What Happens When Corruption Is Systemic

Joe Brewer

Over the weekend, an historic release of information came out in the Panama Papers showing exactly who, how, and when a vast network of people stole and hoarded money. Our minds easily grok the realities of Vladimir Putin embezzling a billion dollars through offshore accounts or the Prime Minister of Iceland stealing cash from public coffers.


From Glenn Greenwald's article on the document dump, when he wrote "(the U.S. was oddly missing from the initial reporting though journalists vow that will change shortly)", it links to a tweet that reads:

"Editor of Süddeutsche Zeitung responded to the lack of U.S. individuals in the documents, saying "Just wait for what is coming next" "


This is the kind of grotesque and obscene money Bernie is always talking about. In order to stop the theft we have to find and expose/breakup these groups/individuals.
Wonder if Clinton's have money there? Hmm


A great and accurate piece/assessment, well done Joe, thanks - the more we know and identify of the enemy and its instruments, the more equipped "we" are to destroy it/them. The crossroads we are at are, we either submit to the tyranny of wealth and greed or smash it entirely for the Common Good and egalitarian society.....

"the architecture of wealth extraction that has been systematically built up in every country around the world"
"three years ago there were 300 people who had the same aggregate wealth as 3 billion. Today it is even worse — 62 individuals have the same total wealth as 3,700,000,000" -
- an astonishing and obscene reality! It would perhaps not be so if people of integrity had recognized and fought against such an abomination and institutionalized theft - the mechanisms of the theft, enforced by police and armies, legalized by governments and courts, and sanctified by the church.


So long as a corporate media feeds the majority of persons its own version of news, views, events and alleged consensual reality; and so long as U.S. representatives are beholden to corporate lobbyists' "largesse," and so long as there IS something as inane as "Citizens United," there cannot be sufficient political muscle to hold those in power to account.

They definitely built their wealth networks by stealth. To say that what was done surreptitiously constitutes the public's ignorance is to blame the public!

Also, so long as memes are used that insist that what benefits that handful of corporatists signifies benefits to the U.S. economy, or "us," or "we," or "Americans" as if all are generically (and equally) reflected by policies that privilege a few... there won't be the necessary realization that policies ARE written for, by, and under the direction of these elite Special Interests.


I think the term WAS should be converted to IS:

"There was a long history of colonialism and slavery that gave certain Western nations a huge amount of wealth that has since been used to rig global institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in a manner that keeps this historic trend going strong. In the mid-20th Century it was the banana republics, where US corporations benefited from the displacement of democratic leaders with despotic dictators throughout Latin America (with help from a network of financiers and government aid). The decades that followed saw the rise of “free trade” zones and “structural adjustment” programs that guaranteed a one-way transfer of wealth from poor countries to the pockets of the extreme rich in wealthy countries (while ignoring the colonial period that set up this economic advantage in the first place)."

This is STILL the game plan and when it's not used on so-called developed nations, it certainly is still deployed on 3rd world entities.


Some say, the people should just rise up and take back what is theirs. How do they do this without of a bloody revolution? The one present has complete control of the government, the media, the banks and the places that people work. They own the houses where everyone lives, and the cars that they drive. If you don't think that, miss a couple of payments. Even an education will put you in servitude for a long time, to pay for it. The public has become so dumb because of poor education and propaganda, that they are all living in their own little worlds, thinking that we are a free people, while we are all moving closer and closer to enslavement. We need a much bigger change than just the election one progressive like Bernie Sanders. We need to change our entire government and our entire system. It doesn't belong to the people any more and it is not working in the peoples interest.


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I object to you inverting the ACTS of the wealthiest few and attributing THE FAULT to people, in general.

One of the impacts of the Internet and cell phones is a very short attention span. People are so accustomed to INSTANT feedback that fewer and fewer are likely retaining much in the way of memory.

Men (and it typically is men) who study WAR as a strategic science, if intelligent, plan their moves and strategies for YEARS in advance.

Recognizing the class war as an ongoing war, the elites ALSO plan years in advance.

When one apprises themselves of the LEVELS of networking facilitated by billionaires like the Koch Brothers, they see how these networks funded think tanks, academic institutions and like-minded professors, and then began to feed their pro 1% philosophy to the newly minted corporate media.

One of the prized memes is this idea that AMERICA is a prosperous nation. In theory, that suggests that all citizens SHARE in that prosperity.

The way that Clinton sold NAFTA--which was a pretty new concept at the time, even though business savvy types like Ross Perot saw right through it--was by insisting that it would BRING jobs and improve Americans' lives.

Whenever a professional writer or poster presents the narrative that "if only The People" had been smarter... they basically blame those who were purposely left out of the loop.

The public didn't want to see the banks bailed out. But what happened?

The public preferred a universal health care single-payer type system instead of forced insurance company extortion. But what happened?

People can KNOW things but lack the political power to affect change.

What's happening in the U.S. is also happening all over the world. The PIKETTY Study made that plain.

Small extremely wealthy corporatists, those who are scions of old money, and the rest of the 1% (some say less than 1%) are behind the policies that are aimed at consolidating THEIR power. They've set up a labyrinth of institutions and policies that have unfolded over DECADES. At their core, they wish to erase all New Deal premises and essentially revert humanity back to the era of Aristocrats running everything with much of the world operating at a slave-serf level.

Whether people rising up in nation after nation changes the calculus is yet to be seen. The amount of weaponry that's been so reprehensively disseminated all over the planet added to the ravages of savage earth changes make any predictions almost impossible.

I don't blame average American citizens for what Allen Dulles did--in working with some other very damaged human souls to invite NAZIS into U.S. academic institutions and the MIC. To this day, few know about this and what it's meant... long term.

I don't blame all citizens when very real actors killed JFK.

This tendency to scatter culpability is one way to let human misfits and dangerous criminals run loose. It seems to work on a lot of people because it feeds off the Christian idea that WE all are "guilty sinners."


Here is link from Süddeutsche Zeitung to answer question "But where are the Americans":



If her fangs came out over the allegation that Bernie, rather than Green Peace was asking her to define her commitment to accepting (or rejecting) fossil fuel lobbyists' money... can you imagine the wrath if THIS association were to be publicly made?


When corruption is systemic, you have to root it out and change the system.


1913: Federal Reserve and Income Tax. Same year. The USA is the Fiat Empire.


Well and accurately said Emphyrio!!!!!


Exactly Siouxrose1!!


I am hoping that since the corporate media has jumped on this because many of our "enemies" are involved and the media is making this such a big deal; the pièce de résistance will be that the American and European names will be released so the media will have a hard time reneging on the point they are now making.


Austerity is a six hundred year program that is very stable. Pirates wearing suits are still pirates.

Balanced budgets entail the constitutional right and duty of living voters to pay for endless war out of pocket.

Compost toilets turn waste into wealth. The flycatcher model is a Double public good.


Excellent, thanks.

One of the points the panel of experts makes repeatedly, is that there are multiple pathways to tax evasion, including shell corporations set up inside the USA.

At the same time, this is just one (admittedly prominent) law firm that's in this business, and the Panama Papers are by no means some comprehensive listing of all this dirty business.

So even if few USans show up in this dump, that by no means indicates the USans are clean, a point made unanimously by the panel.


Why are you mentioning Putin??? He is NOT MENTIONED once in the papers????


Speaking of short attention spans.......and "inverting things/comments. I don't see how my comment "inverted' or understated the fact of criminal conspiracy by the 1%, or attributed "the fault" to people, in general........

Yes, of course you object Siouxrose, mea maxima culpa, I have no inkling of who, or what has orchestrated theft by the uber-wealthy et al to use society for their own profit (and are only increasing their crimes). "The fault" is with the criminals, never with "the people" for perceived failure to fight the power - no action "people" could ever have taken would/could have stopped/diminished the oligarchs in any century and apparently "we" never will. No comment is beyond fault-finding.........

Yes, I "inverted the ACTS of the wealthiest and attributed THE FAULT to people in general" - so I am wrong, yet again, and must be chastised for this perceived "inversion" - the failure of "people of integrity" to recognize and fight against institutionalized theft...this part of my comment means nothing?
Or this? "the more we know and identify the enemy and its instruments, the more equipped "we" are to destroy it/them..... "we" (my apologies) either submit to the tyranny of wealth and greed (in some places this might be construed to include or point a finger at "the wealthiest few") - smash it entirely for the Common Good and egalitarian society........to smash the mechanisms of the theft, enforced by police and armies, legalized by governments and courts........so please, because I am slow, explain to me again how I am ignorant and remiss for my incorrect wording.........As always, peace & respect.