April 05, 2016

Why The Panama Papers Are Yuuuuge!

We are going to do things differently today with a deep dive on the #panamapapers.




We’re hiring! Daily Pnut is thrilled to be expanding our team to welcome a Marketing Analyst. News junkies are encouraged to apply. 

Where Do The Rich Hide Their Money?As more information comes to light about the #panamapapers we’ve decided to give you a quick summary on the some of the most famous culprits and what the potential repercussions might be:

  • Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson: Iceland, an island nation of ~300,000 people, briefly turned into the world’s largest hedge fund/ponzi scheme in the run up to the world’s financial crisis. When the crisis broke, Iceland did something most of the world was too scared to do: it didn’t bail out the banks, and it put the bankers in prison. Fast forward a few years and one prime minister later, and it seems they still haven’t shaken off the ghost of finance’s past. Turns out the current PM may or may not have helped bail out some bank creditors, which would be fine until you realize that he and his wife owned some bank bonds through an offshore entity. The kicker? He failed to disclose. Naturally the Icelandic people are furious. 
  • Vladimir Putin’s Squad: So, Vlad isn’t *technically* on the list, but all of his friends and family are. Really, it would have been embarrassing if he wasn’t affiliated with the list, as someone so cutting edge when it comes to corruption. How does it work? Create an offshore account linked to your best bud and quasi-private Cellist — who also happens to be your daughter’s Godfather. Funnel “loans” that will probably never be paid back through them and, ta-da, problem solved! It’s so genius, it is actually kind of cool. 
  • Lionel Messi: Master Footballer, five-time Ballon d’Or winner and idol to every soccer player under 12, Lionel Messi is currently on trial for tax evasion with his father and hopeful scapegoat, Jorge Horacio. The Panama Papers also reveal that Messi holds a 50% share of a shell company, the existence of which was unknown until now. Messi allegedly sold his “image rights” to companies based in Belize and Uruguay allowing him to evade taxes for income related to the use of his baby face and famous name.   
  • FIFA: No global tax/fraud scheme would really be complete without FIFA somehow being involved. The fact that FIFA employs “ethics lawyers” is already an endearing oxymoron. However, the juxtaposition between the organization and “ethics” was made even starker with allegations that Juan Pedro Damiani, a founding member of the committee, is implicated for setting up ~400 offshore entities, many of which were used to funnel the FIFA bribes that he is supposedly investigating. 

How big a deal is all this really?To quote our favorite geriatric, this is “yuuuuuge!” Pressure on the Icelandic PM to resign is mounting and several countries are opening criminal investigations into what is going on. Offshore companies are a bit like bitcoin — having one isn’t technically illegal, but a lot of people have them to do illegal stuff. Also, the leak comes at a time when inequality is at an all-time high, and austerity measures have hit low- and middle-class incomes hard. This is another example of elites bypassing governments, which is bound to feed populist fires across the world. Meanwhile, we will keep posting new names on Facebook during the day. 

MAIN SOURCE: Seuddeutsche Zeitung’s Portal On The Panama Papers


Elon Musk On Track To Take Over The World Sticking to his original plan from 10 years ago, Elon Musk remains on track to take over the automative world with Tesla. The $35,000 mass market Model 3, which won’t be available until next year, has amassed 276,000 pre-orders and counting in the past few days. GM also has a similar car, the Bolt, coming out this year. However, despite having many of the same features as the Model 3, it has no pre-orders. The concept is so anathema to GM that it doesn’t even give you the option to pre-order. 

Keeping Our Eye On…
  • Turkey: Roughly 200 refugees arrived in Turkey in the first round of deportations since the EU deal. Refugees, many of whom were from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, were sent back via chartered Turkish ferries sailing from the Greek islands of Lesbos and Chios.
  • Pakistan: At least 53 people are dead after torrential rain caused a flash flood in Pakistan and parts of Kashmir. A further 60 were injured after the rains caused landslides and caved in the roofs of homes.
  • Virgin America: Alaska Air Group announced that they’ll be buying Virgin America for $2.6 billion, winning their reported bidding war with JetBlue. 


Rebel Chihuahua Lead Police On A High-Speed ChaseVideo footage has surfaced of one bad-ass puppy running from a fleet of police on the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge. Being trailed by both a car and a motorcycle officer, the four-legged outlaw used the bridge’s upper level as an escape route but was eventually caught. The pup refused to give his name, but fittingly wore a skull-shaped dog tag, potentially signifying gang affiliation

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