Opening Pandora’s box: Documents expose the elite

design: Teresa Christian

The secret is out. A high school junior, Jay, just had his little secret exposed to his whole high school. He was overcharging his fellow students in his little reselling shoe business and someone leaked his corruption. Just like Jay on a smaller scale, global leaders have been trying to cheat the financial system.

Four years after the leak of the Panama Papers, new financial documents were exposed. This further revealed how the rich have been exploiting foreign economic regulations to their advantage.

The Panama papers are “A giant leak of more than 11.5 million financial and legal records exposes a system that enables crime, corruption, and wrongdoing, hidden by secretive offshore companies,” according to the International Consortium of Investigative.

The unprecedented leak of the Pandora Papers has been the biggest leakage of financial documents yet.

There are over 11.9 million confidential files involving over 300 politicians and public officials from over 90 countries, according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. This exposed many influential global positions in the world such as presidents, prime ministers, royals, elected officials and more.

Now that the government has obtained physical evidence involving the actions of these individuals, they can conduct an investigation to further uncover the truth.

“The fundamental change is their anonymity is gone. These documents provide data related to their wealth and how it is managed to avoid paying taxes. The governments who collect taxes now have the information to pursue these individuals,” U.S. Government teacher Carmichael said.

Celebrities and politicians have created companies in different countries where the tax rates are either very low or zero. They hide their identities and become more rich in places with little to no financial regulations.

“Off-shore companies are a way to hide income and money. If you hide wealth, then the government can’t collect taxes, which means they keep more of their money,” Carmichael said.

The exposure of these political figures with immense influence lead the public to wonder what the consequences will be and speculations have begun to form regarding the matter.

“Ukraine’s president, and Ukraine’s minister of finance have been mentioned in these papers, which is huge considering the amount of power they hold. Because of these people’s status and power however, I’m unfortunately not sure that there will be any consequences,” political enthusiast junior Neil Hariths said.

Many feel as though that these political figures are immune to the consequences of their various actions due to their high standing, but with the leak of the Pandora papers, this might change.

“I think these leaks will give the public the ability to hold said powerful people accountable, which is something we really haven’t had before,” Hariths said.

This has sparked an outrage among the public after the leak of what goes on behind the scenes in the creation of these off-shore companies. Individuals feel that it’s unfair that these flawed regulations are being abused by the rich and powerful.

“Loopholes by definition are ways around rules or laws. A country has laws and regulations for a reason, so finding ways to almost beat them, at least in my opinion, is morally incorrect,” Hariths said.