The Panama Papers reveal the corrupt roots of global extremism



In the aftermath of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ (ICIJ) release of the so-called Panama Papers—a massive leaked database of documents from offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca—it’s become public knowledge how many powerful people, including world leaders, have kept, circulated, and hidden away huge sums of money using tax havens. The leak proves that the legacy of corrupt world leaders reaches far beyond the stereotypical cronyism of figures like Vladimir Putin.
Consider Pakistan. If Pakistan really was a poor country, so many of her leaders wouldn’t be on this list. But Pakistan isn’t actually a poor country—it’s kept poor by gross structural imbalances, and the predatory actions of a shockingly corrupt political class. Not only is Pakistan’s elected prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, now under scrutiny, but numerous other prominent Pakistanis are named by the Panama Papers, too. While we can expect more leaks, we shouldn’t lose sight of the…

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