A maddening, important indictment of the shadow economy that flourishes even as the legitimate economy suffers and just the...

THE PANAMA PAPERS

BREAKING THE STORY OF HOW THE RICH AND POWERFUL HIDE THEIR MONEY

Hiding money in offshore accounts to keep it from the publicans is an old trick—but it is now so prevalent that, far from being “a minor part of our economic system,” it is the system.

The saga of the so-called Panama Papers, so much in the recent news, begins with the anonymous leaking of secret documents to Süddeutsche Zeitung journalist Obermayer. The leak became a flood that, writes Luke Harding, of Edward Snowden fame, in his foreword, “eventually amounted to 11.5 million documents, delivered in real-time installments,” a trove far larger than the Snowden files. These records pertained to 214,000 offshore shell companies whose businesses were filtered through a Panamanian law firm, but that the flood came pouring down on German journalists spoke to the fact that the principal was a German émigré who may now be on the hook for violations of European Union regulations as a German citizen. (The legal case has only begun to unfold.) Yet Mossack Fonseca’s clients, the beneficiaries of various schemes to keep taxable income under wraps, are breathtakingly international: they include the father of Britain’s prime minister, much of Iceland’s government, Nicaragua’s president, and even the “best footballer in the world,” to say nothing of “trails leading to FIFA and its president…various mafia organizations, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda…and to Vladimir Putin.” Throw in numerous multinational corporations “like Amazon, Starbucks, and Apple,” and you have splendid testimony to Karl Marx’s observation that capital has no country and that capitalists are loyal only unto themselves and their shareholders. In surveying these many trails, the authors expose a shockingly corrupt system but not without offering twofold remedies, one of which is to mandate “an effective system for the automatic global exchange of information about bank accounts.”

A maddening, important indictment of the shadow economy that flourishes even as the legitimate economy suffers and just the thing to tip a person debating whether to join the Occupy movement or vote for Bernie Sanders over the edge.

Pub Date: June 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-78607-047-0

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Oneworld Publications

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2016

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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IN COLD BLOOD

"There's got to be something wrong with somebody who'd do a thing like that." This is Perry Edward Smith, talking about himself. "Deal me out, baby...I'm a normal." This is Richard Eugene Hickock, talking about himself. They're as sick a pair as Leopold and Loeb and together they killed a mother, a father, a pretty 17-year-old and her brother, none of whom they'd seen before, in cold blood. A couple of days before they had bought a 100 foot rope to garrote them—enough for ten people if necessary. This small pogrom took place in Holcomb, Kansas, a lonesome town on a flat, limitless landscape: a depot, a store, a cafe, two filling stations, 270 inhabitants. The natives refer to it as "out there." It occurred in 1959 and Capote has spent five years, almost all of the time which has since elapsed, in following up this crime which made no sense, had no motive, left few clues—just a footprint and a remembered conversation. Capote's alternating dossier Shifts from the victims, the Clutter family, to the boy who had loved Nancy Clutter, and her best friend, to the neighbors, and to the recently paroled perpetrators: Perry, with a stunted child's legs and a changeling's face, and Dick, who had one squinting eye but a "smile that works." They had been cellmates at the Kansas State Penitentiary where another prisoner had told them about the Clutters—he'd hired out once on Mr. Clutter's farm and thought that Mr. Clutter was perhaps rich. And this is the lead which finally broke the case after Perry and Dick had drifted down to Mexico, back to the midwest, been seen in Kansas City, and were finally picked up in Las Vegas. The last, even more terrible chapters, deal with their confessions, the law man who wanted to see them hanged, back to back, the trial begun in 1960, the post-ponements of the execution, and finally the walk to "The Corner" and Perry's soft-spoken words—"It would be meaningless to apologize for what I did. Even inappropriate. But I do. I apologize." It's a magnificent job—this American tragedy—with the incomparable Capote touches throughout. There may never have been a perfect crime, but if there ever has been a perfect reconstruction of one, surely this must be it.

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 1965

ISBN: 0375507906

Page Count: 343

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1965

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