If you want to know why nearly 40 million leaked documents on the salting away of assets in offshore financial centers have failed to result in comprehensive change since the revelations started eight years ago, Billie Holiday provides a clue: “Them that’s got shall get; them that’s not shall lose. So the Bible said, and it still is news.”
The latest set of leaks to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is the largest yet. After sifting the data, media organizations have named King Abdullah II of Jordan, associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis and Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta in connection with assets stashed offshore. For all the remarkable revelations about the shadow global financial system for wealthy individuals and businesses since the ICIJ’s first revelations in 2013, though, it’s striking how little has changed.