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Massive Data Leak Reveals How the Ultra Rich Hide Their Wealth

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the hidden-in-congressional-offices dept.

Businesses 893

bshell writes "According to the CBC, there was a massive leak of 'files containing information on over 120,000 offshore entities — including shell corporations and legal structures known as trusts — involving people in over 170 countries. The leak amounts to 260 gigabytes of data, or 162 times larger than the U.S. State Department cables published by WikiLeaks in 2010...In many cases, the leaked documents expose insider details of how agents would incorporate companies in Caribbean and South Pacific micro-states on behalf of wealthy clients, then assign front people called "nominees" to serve, on paper, as directors and shareholders for the corporations — disguising the companies' true owners.' Makes a good read and there are some good interactive components. Perhaps Slashdot readers can figure out how the source of the leak, the D.C.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists got their hands on this data."

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there goes my limo driver. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43358863)

now I need to buy a new island too.

It is as if there is no law (4, Interesting)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about a year and a half ago | (#43358869)

this cannot end well.

Re:It is as if there is no law (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359197)

Fear not. Moore's Law holds the promise that, with time, advanced tech will enable we members of the lower classes to fulfill our age old dream of eating these people.

Translation ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43358871)

Self entitled wealthy bastards go to great lengths to avoid paying taxes. Nobody at all is surprised.

Re:Translation ... (-1, Troll)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359065)

Intelligent people go to great lengths to avoid having to pay more tax than they are legally obliged to. But if you're poor you don't pay much tax at all, so what the hell are you complaining about? You're using the same roads, bridges, schools and hospitals. All for a few hundred bucks a year.

Re:Translation ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359143)

Most of the strategies outlined in TFS are illegal, so your point is moot. Plus there are plenty of people like me who pay ~$30,000 in federal taxes (on top of other state and local taxes), but could never afford the legal and accounting team necessary to create such elaborate tax-evasion schemes. In short, it's yet again the middle class that gets fucked.

Re:Translation ... (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359205)

many of those schemes would cost as much if not more than you pay in takes to implement.

Re:Translation ... (3, Insightful)

repetty (260322) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359161)

Intelligent people go to great lengths to avoid having to pay more tax than they are legally obliged to. But if you're poor you don't pay much tax at all, so what the hell are you complaining about? You're using the same roads, bridges, schools and hospitals. All for a few hundred bucks a year.

I guess what you don't understand, Dunbal, is the difference between legal/illegal and right/wrong.

Re:Translation ... (4, Insightful)

Ibiwan (763664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359235)

He also seems to think there is a dichotomy between "Intelligent" and "poor"...

Re:Translation ... (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359247)

I *wish* my taxes were that low. The last year I worked, I paid $3500 on a gross of $21K, in New York state. Lived on the remainder.

Re:Translation ... (2)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359297)

It's almost as if there's an enormous amount of the population between the super rich and the poor. It might even be an important group. Maybe the middle class or something?

Re:Translation ... (2, Insightful)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359315)

So you're saying it's ok for people who have a lot more money to not have to give back more to allow progression of our social system? I find these people who avoid taxes through schemes like this to be hypocrits. They flourish from the same social system and turn their backs on them by no giving back into the system.

Remember (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43358875)

If you've done nothing wrong you've got nothing to hide.

Re:Remember (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about a year and a half ago | (#43358897)

They've hidden rather a lot.

Re:Remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359031)

I really hope somebody makes an interactive tool that links the assets together so you can search by owner.

Re:Remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359125)

If you've done nothing wrong you've got nothing to hide.

Unless you're too big to fail. Then you can do everything wrong and say "fuck you very much" to the taxpayers because you know you'll get away with it.

Re:Remember (1)

monzie (729782) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359219)

Some people just don't want to pay taxes. Of course it's a problem I'd rather have.

Re:Remember (4, Insightful)

Obfuscant (592200) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359303)

Some people just don't want to pay taxes.

Most people want to pay only the minimum amount of taxes that they are legally required to pay. Jackson/Hewitt and HR Block base their entire businesses on this.

Most people talk a good talk about how taxes do so much for everyone and are such a wonderful thing, but they are usually referring to taxes paid by other people and not themselves. Very few of these people add a few hundred dollars to their tax payments just to help promote the general welfare, etc.

SHOCKING (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43358881)

Super wealthy people hide their wealth in shell companies and shady business practices? I never knew that! How newsworthy!

Re:SHOCKING (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359037)

Well yes, we've always known that they do, but now we have some of their names, along with where the money is and how it got there, and in some cases, at least, it's pretty clear that some nations' domestic taxation and monetary laws were violated in the process of moving money to offshore accounts. With that information, the taxation authorities of a number of sovereign states can either a. swoop in and seize the money from offshore accounts or b. simply seize domestic assets to make up for the taxes owed.

Of course, few if any taxation authorities will do that, because, at the end of the day, most of them probably already had the information, but are either complicit or too cowed to move in.

Re:SHOCKING (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359081)

They may just realise that if they tried that, they'd be going up against an army of the highest-paid lawyers in the world. The case could drag on for a decade.

Re:SHOCKING (4, Insightful)

chill (34294) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359177)

Shakespeare had a solution for that.

Re:SHOCKING (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359209)

As I said, they are cowed. If they accepted the cases could drag on for years, and pursued them against a substantial fraction of super-rich tax evaders, the ultimate effect would to chill the desire to evade taxes. It would cost significant amounts of money to begin with, but we're talking about hundreds of billions of dollars apparently nestled in offshore accounts here, so I think the prize is worth the effort. That some crimes are tough to prosecute doesn't mean they shouldn't be prosecuted.

Re:SHOCKING (2)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359147)

That only works until somebody like Castro (or Chavez) comes along and locks the doors to all the island banks.... And TAKES all their stashed money! Hence the REAL reason the USA dislikes him so much.

Re:SHOCKING (1)

jxander (2605655) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359153)

The fact that it's occurring is not a surprise to anyone.

What we have here is a full on name and shame. Now things get interesting.

Hypocrisy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43358887)

We have no problem asking service men and women to sacrifice time with their families, their personal well being and their lives...all under the banner of patriotism. Yet when we ask the wealthy to sacrifice for their country in the form of simply paying their taxes they hide it in off shore accounts and attack those who question this as "redistributors".

Blow the whistle and blow it loud on these cringing cowards.

http://www.ted.com/talks/lawrence_lessig_we_the_people_and_the_republic_we_must_reclaim.html

Re:Hypocrisy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359167)

Why do you think that extorting taxes from citizens is any more moral than sending people to die in a war? Check your assumptions. If the wealth was obtained illeagally by decption or coercion then hold people accountable for that - otherwise leave them alone to enjoy the labor of their hands . . . which they gained by sacrifice of time with their families, their personal well-being and sometimes their lives.

Re:Hypocrisy (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359189)

Whoa bub, hold up with the WE. I was against every single action that has sent a single pair of boots overseas. I have never asked them for anything, and generally..... don't see how murdering people around the world is serving this country at all.

I may live here, I may have been born here, and I grudgingly pay taxes here, but I have not asked them to do anything. in fact, I wish they would wise up and stop volunteering to go help these rich people make more money.

Who cares how they got their hands on it? (5, Insightful)

JayPee (4090) | about a year and a half ago | (#43358907)

In this case I'd have to say, "who care how they got their hands on this data" and hope they do more work like this.

Eat the rich.

Re:Who cares how they got their hands on it? (1, Flamebait)

fche (36607) | about a year and a half ago | (#43358957)

That meal turns out to be brief and ultimately self-defeating.

Re:Who cares how they got their hands on it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359277)

Until you realize that they've been eating the poor for decades, siphoning off the labor of the masses like a bunch of parasites.

Re:Who cares how they got their hands on it? (5, Insightful)

jxander (2605655) | about a year and a half ago | (#43358965)

I'd even take it a step farther : I hope that we never find out how they got their hands on this data, whoever they are.

Just so long as they keep doing good works, I for one hope they stay anonym- ... *ahem* under the radar

Re:Who cares how they got their hands on it? (2)

thoughtlover (83833) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359051)

As much as /. readers would like to know who the leak came from, I bet those who were outed in this leak would like to find them, more.

Re:Who cares how they got their hands on it? (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359165)

They are all pretty skinny... Not enough to go around.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43358923)

Kiss freedom goodbye, the rich just got screwed.
If the government pursuing Assange over his crap was bad for "freedom" this is going to be worse, the "wealthy" don't have even nominal citizens interest watchdogs hanging over them.

Interestingly, it's only the very wealthy that are allowed to do such things. A suicide I recall from a few years back had the guy doing something with a trust, that wealthy people did on a regular basis, and he got ripped a new one by the IRS.
Apparently the lesson here is don't fuck with the IRS unless you can keep the bribes up.

time for an American Spring (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43358967)

so.... Occupy Wallstreet is still just a bunch of lazy malcontent college hippies?

Re:time for an American Spring (1)

schneidafunk (795759) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359013)

There is only one American on the list [icij.org] published so far, although I'm sure there will be more. But I understand your sentiment and forgive your lack of RTFA.

source? maybe best not to ask questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43358925)

Perhaps Slashdot readers can share this story with friends and neighbors instead of looking for the messenger.

How about we DON'T look too hard for how it got leaked... since these leaks are very enlightening for the world.

I worked at the CBC for 2 years (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43358937)

I wouldn't trust or believe any "news" that comes from there.

Unionized workers that hold no accountability for false information.

Re:I worked at the CBC for 2 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359085)

So now you work for Ezra Levant and have no accountability for false information?

Sorry, but I trust CBC to deliver news honestly more than any of the Sun media shit which is all so heavily biased as to make it absurd. They're as bad as CNN.

Classification? (1)

krept (697623) | about a year and a half ago | (#43358939)

Is there potential legal repercussion for reading these documents? I remember the Wikileaks files were off limits because they were still classified, and anyone reading them would be potentially in breach of their clearance. Would the person who released these be held responsible for any judicial action? Or just the person who obtained them?

Re:Classification? (4, Informative)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359223)

I'm sure that the US Government will find grounds to classify private banking documents.

Probably under the "embarrassing to someone important" clause.

Re:Classification? (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359225)

Whoever leaked this is a lot smarter than Assange and the Wikileak's lot, who seem to be in it as much out of arrogant displays of "gotcha!" as anything else. This one was done a lot more quietly, so that those effected by the revelations can't try to turn this around and go after those that did the leaking.

we're gonna get you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43358943)

we're gonna get you
we're gonna get you
we're gonna get you

Mail Server (2)

mveloso (325617) | about a year and a half ago | (#43358945)

Given that there are interoffice emails in the stream, that implies that someone was able to access:

1. the mail server archive/backup
2. the mail server's scrubber (whatever they call the thing that scans email for sensitive info).

Do they all share a mailhost or something like that?

Re:Mail Server (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359093)

Maybe they all outsourced IT to the same company?

Re:Mail Server (2)

Lennie (16154) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359109)

gmail ? ;-)

Ever watch CNBC hosts talk about this? (3, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#43358959)

You'd think a guy moving his accounts offshore for the tax break had just been awarded the Medal of Honor! It's a badge of honor to a lot of people that you avoid paying taxes by any means necessary.

Oh, No, Don't Look Behind that Curtain! (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#43358963)

The files contain information on over 120,000 offshore entities — including shell corporations and legal structures known as trusts — involving people in over 170 countries.

Oh, no no no, tax evasion for the ultra rich that can play international games isn't the reason the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. No! From Forbes' response to the viral video "Wealth Inequality in America" [forbes.com] they say:

Look — we’re moving into the opening years of an economic revolution. The floods of Big Data pouring from the Internet and related technologies are washing away the foundational reasons for the existence of several of our most critical – and comforting – societal structures, potentially changing forever the very notion of what a company is, what a job is, what a brand is, what an educational degree means, and how we’ll work and govern and care for ourselves while attempting to live long and prosper. Almost every part of our existence is being restructured, and quickly, by the stunning power of nearly infinite information.

Don't you see? It's not tax evasion or unfair taxation, it's just the magical power of the internet. Stop asking questions and demanding an equal opportunity to skirt income laws! It's "Big Data" that's changing things rapidly and excitingly. Stop fighting the Economic Revolution!

What an absolute crock of shit.

indeed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359025)

its a filthy wealthy steamy pile a shit in that crook you got.....these people have ruined and are aiding in the ruination of earth and its people
ALL OF US......would be better off if that wealth was taken and given evenly to every human on earth
they should be hanged , killed drawn and quartered for there acts of treason and crimes against humanity.....while people starve and die in places and europes and the worlds economic woes.

Buddy the internet was invented in the 60's bud.....the only difference is that there are 2.5 billion people using it now.OH wait al gore mad ethe net....right yankies with 37th ranked math are trying to tell me anything is hilarious.

Re:indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359265)

ALL OF US......would be better off if that wealth was taken and given evenly to every human on earth

It's a tempting thought, but honestly it would mean that some farmer in china gets two bowls of rice a day. And so would everyone else.

Re:Oh, No, Don't Look Behind that Curtain! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359145)

In Forbes' defense, it has always catered to a mix of the ultra-wealthy and the poor who are delusional enough to think they'll become wealthy. It's like porn in that you shouldn't expect it to reflect on reality at all.

Take it (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43358969)

Free society is incompatible with individuals wielding thousands or millions of times more unchecked power than others.

Tax evasion is good for some of us (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43358971)

As somebody whose relationship with goverment is a net loss, I applaud tax evasion. If your relationship with government is a net gain, then naturally, you will condemn tax evasion. As for me, every tax dollar denied to government is a net gain.

For reference, I am a US citizen and make under $40,000 a year, so I don't have much reason to engage in tax evasion myself.

Re:Tax evasion is good for some of us (2)

arbiterxero (952505) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359035)

Relationship is a net loss?

I guess you don't walk on sidewalks, drive on roads, use public infrastructure or enjoy clean water.

electricity? phones?

mmm hmmmm....

Re:Tax evasion is good for some of us (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359121)

Don't forget the part about not getting murdered for your wallet by the local thugs.

Re:Tax evasion is good for some of us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359271)

That's being mighty presumptuous. How do you know I wasn't murdered by thugs for my wallet?

Re:Tax evasion is good for some of us (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359227)

You are sadly mistaken if you think the majority of my tax dollars fund infrastructure.

Regarding the federal budget from Wikipedia:
(+58.6%) – Unemployment/Welfare/Other mandatory spending
(+18.0%) – Interest on National Debt

Note of that gives me a telephone, a sidewalk or electricity. BTW, I PAY, and pay alot
for my phone and my electricity.

Wake up, the money you pay in taxes is largely stolen, if you do pay, and you get very
little benefit. You can keep your benefits, I'll meet my own needs, thanks.

Re:Tax evasion is good for some of us (4, Interesting)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359249)

More importantly, who keeps the tens of thousands of employees from stealing from your companies. Who keeps all those employees safely returning to work each day??

That was the KEY vision Henry Ford had... That you couldn't run a company off the least cost labor and have everybody AROUND your employees live in shit. His high wages were to keep more productive employees... And force them to pull up the other people around them... Very Victorian values.

Re:Tax evasion is good for some of us (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359089)

If you make less than $40k your relationship with the government is a big gain for you.

Re:Tax evasion is good for some of us (1)

bogie (31020) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359237)

How's that? The Republicans have done/are doing everything in their power to dismantle all government assistance programs. The path is now clearly every man for himself and you certainly can't count on the government to help you in the long term. If you make less than $40k a year I can only hope that you live in one of the poorer states. Otherwise good luck with healthcare, paying for your children's education, and saving for retirement.

The middle class is dead. Long live the middle class...

Re:Tax evasion is good for some of us (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359291)

The Republicans have not yet abolished basic government services.

Re:Tax evasion is good for some of us (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359281)

I'd say its more like $100k while raising kids. I pay some taxes at almost double that, but deductions knock it right back down.

Nice to know but... (5, Insightful)

AngelFrog (1742434) | about a year and a half ago | (#43358983)

Nice and all to see the info come out but seriously, with that much money and that many wealthy, influential people involved, what is going to happen with this information? Nothing. A couple of hippies are going to protest against the 1% thingy while texting from their iPhone 5, be discredited, a couple of journalists are going to get vanished, the whole thing will get swept under the rug of the media coverage of an imminent war with North Korea. Problem solved. Damned i'm too young to be this jadded

Re:Nice to know but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359103)

Agreed 100%. Everyone with their head on straight knows this is happening. Big companies practically brag about it. Money writes and enforces the laws, so there isn't anything that can be done.

How the ICIJ got the data (5, Informative)

bcore (705121) | about a year and a half ago | (#43358985)

Perhaps Slashdot readers can figure out how the source of the leak, the D.C.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists got their hands on this data.

The story on the CBC national news last night suggested that it was snail-mailed anonymously on a portable hard drive to a DC based journalist. This doesn't explain where the data ultimately came from, but does explain how the ICIJ came to have it.

Re:How the ICIJ got the data (1)

hendrikboom (1001110) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359119)

I heard on the CBC just now that it was a journalist in Australia who had a few years ago reported on this kind of corruption. He started getting emails, and eventually the package with the hard drive.

All the way to the top (3, Informative)

RoTNCoRE (744518) | about a year and a half ago | (#43358993)

The husband of a Senator has been named in the leak thus far (who is a high profile class action lawyer), and his Senator wife was named as the beneficiary of the accounts. This is the same Senate that had a member (Patrick Brazeau) charged with both sexual and vanilla assault while also under investigation for expenses claimed. While we Canadians sat around scratching our heads about how to get rid of the lifetime appointed Senators, he then had the audacity to April Fools tweet his resignation, only to thumb his nose at us the next day. I'm thinking about sharpening the tines on my pitchfork right now...this adds fuel to the fire.

But.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359005)

These are our Republicans' "Job Creators"

we need more of this (2)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359009)

Whoever got this should be considered a hero. Let's hope they keep going.

That's a lot of records but not a lot of shells (3, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359011)

I wonder who collected these records in the first place? Either it's all from the same business or someone collected it across many such businesses. In that latter case, it could be a government spy agency with resources or a particularly powerful and well organized blackmailer.

100,000 shell companies over thirty years is significant but not, I think, a large share of the overall market. I gather that these sorts of businesses process millions of new shell companies a year.

It'll be interesting to see who gets caught as a result.

Re:That's a lot of records but not a lot of shells (4, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359067)

This story indicates that the companies in question seem to cluster [guardian.co.uk] on the British Virgin Islands.

The data seen by the Guardian shows that their secret companies are based mainly in the British Virgin Islands.

But this might be a quirk of how the data was released (apparently, news organizations have access to the data from their country, meaning that the British Virgin Islands may be the preferred destination for UK money).

Re:That's a lot of records but not a lot of shells (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359133)

I stand corrected on the number of companies. Apparently, the British Virgin Islands are a major creator for such companies and they've created over a million [guardian.co.uk] such companies since the 80s. So 100,000 companies is a bigger share of the entire market over its entire history than I expected.

Yay! (2)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359019)

I've been looking for a walkthrough for hiding my wealth in low-tax countries. The eHow article wasn't cutting it. I'm thinking of sending my gazillion dollars to the Bahamas.

Political aftermath (3, Interesting)

rs1n (1867908) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359039)

The biggest question I have, now that the general public is also aware of how the ultra rich "hide" their money (and oftentimes to avoid taxation):

What are the politicians going to do to address these loopholes?

Re:Political aftermath (5, Funny)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359131)

The biggest question I have, now that the general public is also aware of how the ultra rich "hide" their money (and oftentimes to avoid taxation):

What are the politicians going to do to address these loopholes?

Move their money elsewhere.

Re:Political aftermath (1)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359151)

What are the politicians going to do to address these loopholes?

Close them up and then create some new ones, obviously.

Re:Political aftermath (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359193)

The biggest question I have, now that the general public is also aware of how the ultra rich "hide" their money (and oftentimes to avoid taxation):

What are the politicians going to do to address these loopholes?

Oh you mean the politicians who are likely using said loopholes? What the fuck do you think will happen?

We'll be reading about this in much the same way we read about justice and change after the financial meltdown of 2008. Not a fucking thing will change, and not a single greedy corrupt bastard will be punished.

Not. One.

Re:Political aftermath (1)

hillbluffer (1684134) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359201)

Politicians will do as much as they can to hide these loopholes from the public as quickly as possible. Many Politicians are part of the "ultra rich" and created these holes for themselves....

Re:Political aftermath (1)

chill (34294) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359279)

When you realize many of the people on the list ARE politicians, you'll have your answer.

Re:Political aftermath (1)

rs1n (1867908) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359305)

I appreciate the response; I was being facetious.

Note this is not the "top 1%" (0, Troll)

daveschroeder (516195) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359075)

These are the kinds of people the Occupy crowd always railed on as the "top 1%". They may be /in/ the top 1%, but they're nowhere representative of it. These people are, quite literally, less than the top 1% /of/ the top 1%.

Of course, the Occupy folks don't care about this, as their true, stated aim was simply opposing capitalism, "consumerism", and pitting Americans against Americans in some kind of imagined class warfare, when the vast majority of the "top 1% are the employers and business owners who are part of the solution, not the imagined fat cats on yachts in top hats sipping champagne and lighting cigars with 100s.

Re:Note this is not the "top 1%" (4, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359157)

Imagined class warfare?

As Warren Buffet stated âoeThereâ(TM)s class warfare, all right, but itâ(TM)s my class, the rich class, thatâ(TM)s making war, and weâ(TM)re winning.â

You know who pits Americans against each other? The richest few. They want you feeling superior to those who make a little less than you, lest you both realize you should fight together to improve your station in life.

So how do us, the unwashed masses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359083)

Get their hands on this data to then make a boycott app for the smartphones so we know who to not do business with.

Re:So how do us, the unwashed masses (2)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359173)

Get their hands on this data to then make a boycott app for the smartphones so we know who to not do business with.

If you spent your time working productively, instead of wasting it boycotting productive people, maybe you'd make some money yourself.

Re:So how do us, the unwashed masses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359255)

It costs no time at all to boycott someone. Since you're all into making money on your activity perhaps you'd like to share about who is paying you for posting this sort of libertarian sound-bite shite. Hmm?

Non-Story (3, Informative)

JBMcB (73720) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359087)

Want to know how the super wealthy "hide" their money in off shore accounts? Call an off shore bank and ask? They'll be happy to tell you. For a couple hundred bucks they'll even set up the company for you and open an account.

Problem is, you'll need to get money into your account somehow. To do so will take a wire transfer that the IRS will be notified about. Going the other direction would also take a wire transfer, that the IRS will be notified about.

Here's a radio show about it:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/07/27/157499893/episode-390-we-set-up-an-offshore-company-in-a-tax-haven [npr.org]

Also, it doesn't let you magically hide money from the IRS like most people think:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/09/18/161358307/episode-403-what-can-we-do-with-our-shell-companies [npr.org]

Re:Non-Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359217)

Soo... feed cash into a Bitcoin ATM?

Re:Non-Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359251)

you send money by "buying" something from the offshore company.

Re:Non-Story (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359275)

At least one Canadian apparently evaded this sort of rule by mailing envelopes of cash.

Re:Non-Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359311)

You missed the trick where an entity that you set up on the Cayman islands sues you for damages (I guess you peed on their veggie garden while touring the island). Naturally there is an out of court settlement and the Cayman island's plaintiff (you) receives a generous sum of money from you.

Sounds great! (2)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359135)

Sounds great! Where do *I* sign up?

Re:Sounds great! (4, Informative)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359191)

www.MtGOX.com

Class War Against Ultra Rich from Ultra Ultra Rich (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359169)

How exactly did they get this amazing mass of information? I doubt it's been carefully extracted by some super duper hackerz. Whoever provided or requested it be published is likely to not have their info exposed in there. Whoever is pulling this class warfare crap to upset 'the poor' against the rich is a lot more powerful. These are the same people that decide that the Russian mafia needed bitch slapped in Cyprus and make sure the leaders of the world are busy sewing hate and dividing everyone.

While this shouldn't surprise anyone... (1)

el_flynn (1279) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359183)

... I for one would like to see whether any of the politicians from my country are implicated. We're going through our 13th General Elections, and it would be nice to see if the person I'm voting for is involved. With scant media coverage on these sort of things - the local media is heavily controlled by the ruling government - we over here tend to have to rely on other alternative sources for exposes.

Not Illegal in Canada (Unless) (1)

onkelonkel (560274) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359195)

Having money in offshore accounts isn't illegal in Canada. You do have to declare the existence of any offshore assets greater than $100.000? (I think) and you have to declare any earnings on that money as income. Of course if you fail to do either of those 2 things you have committed a crime and Revenue Canada will slice and dice you. Not all of this money is being hidden from the taxman, I bet that a lot of it is assets being concealed from spouses in divorce cases, creditors in bankruptcy and so forth. This is going to reverberate through the rich and politically connected upper crust for years.

Flat tax (0)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359203)

Things like this are why I like the idea of a flat tax. It doesn't matter what the source of your income is, you (person or business) pay a given portion in taxes. Get your money from stocks, working, day trading, who cares, pay the same as everyone else. Don't punish success and don't let people weasel their way out of their obligations. If you hide money like this it should be subject to 100% forfeiture. Get rid of things like the Irish sandwich that is a favorite for getting out of business taxes (why don't multibillion dollar companies pay their share).

Let people earn assets and property and don't tax them on it. This gives people a reason to work hard, succeed and own things like houses or condors (homeowners are better neighbors). Tax income and give people incentive to spend their money wisely.

You then have to do one other thing to make sure that a flat tax doesn't disproportionately affect the poor. Get rid of all other taxes such as sales tax, fuel taxes, and so on. This would have the added benefit of saving literally billions of dollars spent every year by people and businesses that have to pay accountants just to do their taxes.

Once you have done that than you go back to your partisan bickering over what the rate of the flat tax is. This is not a bad thing though as it would expose a lot of hidden taxes that most people don't realize they pay. Have an honest debate and meet somewhere in the middle.

32 Trillion Dollars (5, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about a year and a half ago | (#43359207)

According to the report I just heard on the BBC World News, estimates place the total value of these hidden assets around $32 trillion.

Leak Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359289)

According the CBC interview this morning on the radio, the ICIJ received a hard drive in the mail.

The Rothchild's have done done it for a century (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43359317)

Rumor has it, The Rothchild family is worth over a Trillion dollars.

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