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International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
Updated: 59 min 2 sec ago

Offshore law firm Appleby explained (briefly)

Sun, 11/05/2017 - 12:53

Here’s everything you need to know about one of the world’s largest offshore law firms that was included in the Paradise Papers leak.

What is Appleby?
  • Appleby was set up in 1898
  • It is a prestigious offshore law firm that has won several awards
    • Corporate law firm of the year in 2015
    • Has won Offshore Law Firm of the Year
    • Sees itself as an Industry leader
      It’s part of the Offshore Magic Circle (an informal collection of the world’s biggest offshore law firms that jostle for the same business).
  • It makes $100 million in revenue per year annually
  • Has more than 400 employees globally
  • It is “hard-working” and “friendly.” according to clients
What does Appleby do?
  • Sets up shell companies
  • Establishes trusts
  • Drafts wills
  • Litigates for workplace accidents
  • Divorce settlements
  • Advises corporations
Where does Appleby work?
  • Founded in Bermuda
  • Majority of its work is in North America (each of the 50 states)
  • Hong Kong office established in 1990
  • Office in most tax havens: Cayman Islands, Isle of Man, Mauritius
  • First offshore law firm to open an office in mainland China
Who are Appleby’s clients?
  • KPMG
  • EY (formerly Ernst & Young)
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Uber
  • Apple
  • Nike
  • Glencore
  • In 2014 its top 20 clients included these major banks:
    • Citigroup
    • Bank of America
    • HSBC
    • Credit Suisse
    • Wells Fargo

Want more? Read about Appleby’s record of compliance failures.

The post Offshore law firm Appleby explained (briefly) appeared first on International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Categories: News

More documents, more journalists and bigger revelations

Sun, 11/05/2017 - 12:52

When the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published its first major stories on financial secrecy in April 2013, we allowed the public to see the way the financial system really works – and who it serves.

Much has happened since then.

The leaders of Pakistan and Iceland have fallen, multiple people have been arrested, and hundreds of millions of badly needed dollars for schools, hospitals and infrastructure projects have been recovered by tax offices around the world – all as a direct result of our revelations.

Laws have been changed, from the United States to New Zealand to Europe, and billions of dollars in market value were wiped away from hundreds of public-traded companies we named – a strong message from the corporate world that some of the behavior we revealed is no longer acceptable.

The Paradise Papers is the sixth such investigation of the offshore world undertaken by ICIJ. Our first project, Secrecy for Sale, was followed by ChinaLeaks, LuxLeaks, SwissLeaks and, in 2016, the Panama Papers.

Each project, in turn, has generally involved more documents, more journalists and bigger revelations.

And each, in turn, has prompted new levels of outrage, provoked more public discussions and helped build momentum behind a push for a fairer, more transparent society.

But for each incremental step forward, more examples of inequality and injustice also come forth, pointing out systemic failure. It’s the disavowed, the vulnerable and the disadvantaged who suffer the consequences.

Our work is not yet done. We believe that journalism has an important role to play in righting the system.

Our expertise, our global network and our access to data sets that exist nowhere else make us uniquely qualified to find information that is hidden from the public. To borrow a famous phrase from the Watergate scandal, we are able to follow the money in ways that others are not.

Our specially developed technology is used to interrogate and distribute information, connect journalists together in an online newsroom and ensure that the journalists work as one global team.

Together, we achieve results and impact that no outlet could achieve independently.

We also work in difficult environments and thereby provide help for journalists publishing stories in repressive or dangerous regimes. People are likely to turn to us to get out information they may not be able to release through their national media.

Over the past five years, we have also worked hard to position ourselves as one of the most important whistleblower outlets in the world.

ICIJ is able to report stories like the Paradise Papers because of philanthropy. We are a non-profit newsroom that relies on financial contributions from readers and friends – some as little as $1, some more substantial amounts from generous individual donors – and on the generosity of philanthropic foundations.

More than just financial assistance, it’s the support of readers and reporters around the world that really drives us: we want to create a community around the journalism we do. Our mission is to uncover corruption and injustice and, in doing so, make the world a more fair and transparent place. We can’t do it alone.

So please, get involved. Share our work. Reach out to us with information. Help us continue our reporting, and help us right the system.

The post More documents, more journalists and bigger revelations appeared first on International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Categories: News

ICIJ releases The Paradise Papers

Sun, 11/05/2017 - 12:48

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists today releases The Paradise Papers, a global investigation that reveals the offshore activities of some of the world’s most powerful people and companies.

ICIJ and 95 media partners explored 13.4 million leaked files from a combination of leaked files of offshore law firms and the company registries in some of the world’s most secretive countries.

The files were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, and shared with ICIJ.

The Paradise Papers documents include nearly 7 million loan agreements, financial statements, emails, trust deeds and other paperwork over nearly 50 years from inside Appleby, a prestigious offshore law firm with offices in Bermuda and beyond.

The leaked documents include files from the smaller, family-owned trust company, Asiaciti, and from company registries in 19 secrecy jurisdictions.

The Paradise Papers reveal offshore interests and activities of more than 120 politicians and world leaders, including Queen Elizabeth II whose private estate indirectly invested in a rent-to-own loan company accused of predatory tactics. At least 13 allies, major donors and Cabinet members of U.S. President Donald J. Trump appear, including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s interests in a shipping company that makes millions from an energy firm whose owners include Russian President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law and a sanctioned Russian tycoon.

The leaked files from Appleby, the offshore law firm, include details of tax planning by nearly 100 multinational corporations, including Apple, Nike and Uber.

ICIJ and its media partners will be publishing multiple stories in the coming days and weeks, including:

  • On Monday afternoon, stories on strategies used by multinational corporations to shift profits to low-tax jurisdictions; and a look into the world of private jets and yachts registered by wealthy owners in offshore tax havens;
  • On Tuesday afternoon, stories that look behind the huge offshore trust funds held by rich and powerful people; how prominent political donors in the U.S. make use of offshore financial structures; and reporting on tax haven shopping sprees by multinational companies in Africa and Asia that use shell companies in Mauritius;
  • And more to come on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and into the next week.
  • ICIJ will also release the structured data connected to the Paradise Papers investigation in the coming weeks on its Offshore Leaks Database.

In the meantime, you can explore the offshore connections of some of the politicians and their associates in the Paradise Papers through our Power Players interactive, and also the offshore connections of 13 of Trump’s allies, major donors and Cabinet members through our Influencers interactive.

For media inquiries, please email contact@icij.org, or call on +1 202 481 1234 (English and French), +1 202 481 1228 (English and Spanish), +1 202 481 1211 (English and Spanish), or +1 202 481 1217, +1 202 481 1250 (English, Italian and Japanese).

For all inquiries related to the data or ICIJ membership inquiries, please email data@icij.org.

The post ICIJ releases The Paradise Papers appeared first on International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Categories: News

Panama Papers investigation reveals Bolivia’s offshore connections

Sun, 10/29/2017 - 18:38

A new Panama Papers investigation has exposed connections between Bolivia and 127 offshore companies mainly registered in Panama and the British Virgin Islands.

The revelations involve Bolivian businessmen and politicians who went to Mossack Fonseca to create offshore companies. The reports include new links to business operations as well as former corruption scandals in the country.

This is the first time ICIJ has worked with a Bolivian partners on an investigation into the offshore world, after adding a team of local journalists to the Panama Papers project in September last year.

The investigation was led by journalists Nelfi Fernández and Fabiola Chambi from the newspapers El Deber in Santa Cruz and Los Tiempos in Cochabamba. They were supported by another ICIJ partner Connectas.

The one-year long investigation shows how the use of offshore companies increased after Bolivia’s president Evo Morales was first elected in December 2015. Of the 127 offshore Bolivian related companies, 93 percent were registered between 2006 and 2015

It also reveals the use of a Panamanian company by American businessman Jacob Ostreicher to do business in Bolivia.

The documents also further expose Ostreicher’s relationship with a Colombian woman who used to work for him – Claudia Liliana Rodriguez.

Previously, Ostreicher accused Rodriguez of fraud when he was detained as part of a money laundering investigation in 2011.

Rodriguez later went to jail and Ostericher escaped Bolivia, thanks to the help of American actor Sean Penn. Several officials went to prison for extortion charges in relation to this case.

Cochabamba’s power connections

The stories published on Sunday also reveal more details about three offshore companies connected to the purchase of shares involving one of Cochabamba’s biggest electricity companies.

The $17 million operation has been under scrutiny by the congress commission that was investigating the Panama Papers, after ICIJ published the Offshore Leaks database that included a company that mediated the purchase operation.

The investigation also reveals that the Bolivian Consulate in Panama authenticated documents linked to 57 offshore companies between 2007 and 2015.

In May 2016 Bolivian Congress announced an investigation of the Bolivians connected to the Panama Papers. The special commission created to investigate the Panama Papers finished its work on September 2017 and said it was going to hand in the result of its analysis to Congress.

Follow these links to read all the stories published by ICIJ partners (in Spanish):

El Deber

Los Tiempos

The post Panama Papers investigation reveals Bolivia’s offshore connections appeared first on International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Categories: News

Donate to ICIJ and double your impact

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 16:08

Have you been thinking about supporting ICIJ with a donation? Now’s the time!

If you contribute before the end of the year, your donation will be doubled as part of a massive grassroots campaign to strengthen and grow financial support for nonprofit newsrooms.

ICIJ is one of more than 100 organizations selected to take part in News Match 2017.

News Match is supported through the generosity of funders at the Democracy Fund, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. From now until December 31, individual donations that we receive at ICIJ will be matched dollar-for-dollar.

Double your impact

How will your donation be used?

Donations we receive through the campaign will go towards producing investigations like our Pulitzer Prize-winning Panama Papers, a collaboration of more than 370 journalists that produced 4,700 news stories worldwide.

Donate to ICIJ and double your impact.

Since its release last year, the Panama Papers project has sparked major worldwide impact: it led to at least 150 inquiries and investigations in 79 countries, wiped an estimated $135 billion off the value of 400 public-traded companies, and forced two Prime Ministers to resign.

We’ve accomplished quite a lot already.

Imagine what our reporting could uncover with double the resources!

Combat ‘fake news’

The goal of News Match is to strengthen nonprofit news organizations and grow fundraising capacity at a time when the industry is facing a number of challenges – from political attacks to the rise of “fake news” to economic challenges.

Here at ICIJ, we’re committed to delivering high-quality, fact-based investigative journalism in spite of those obstacles.

ICIJ’s brand of cross-border investigative journalism is labor-intensive and time-consuming, but it also generates global and lasting impact.

Our work would be impossible without support from our individual donors, who are often our most engaged and informed readers.

This campaign will help us to grow that support and build a worldwide community of engaged citizens who – like us – understand the power of investigative journalism to drive change.

We hope you’ll join us in this campaign so we can continue bringing you investigative stories on issues that really matter.

You only have until the end of the year to double your impact, so don’t delay!

Feel free to get in touch with us at donate@icij.org if you have questions or would like to learn more.

 

The post Donate to ICIJ and double your impact appeared first on International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Categories: News

Malta Investigative journalist killed in bomb blast

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 20:24

Journalists worldwide are mourning the loss of influential investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia after she was murdered when a bomb blast tore apart her car in Malta on Monday.

Caruana Galizia started her journalism career in 1987 as a columnist for ‘The Sunday Times of Malta’, but her most recent and provocative work was writing one of Malta’s most popular blogs ‘Running Commentary’.

After publication of the Panama Papers, Caruana Galizia followed up with her own reporting, uncovering more information on local political figures involved in the leak.

It was this reporting that lead Politico to name her as one of ‘28 people who are shaping, shaking and stirring Europe‘.

The controversial journalist fought for press freedom in Malta even after her bank accounts were frozen earlier this year after she reported that the deputy leader of the Labour Party, Christian Cardona, and his EU presidency policy officer, Joseph Gerad had visited a brothel.

She continued to fight the injustices in her country with her final blog post, ‘That crook Schembri was in court today, pleading that he is not a crook’, published not long before the attack.

Local media reported that Caruana Galizia had filed a police report 15 days ago saying she was being threatened.

ICIJ director Gerard Ryle said he was shocked by the news and condemned the attack.

“Caruana Galizia has been at the forefront of important investigations in the public interest and has exposed offshore dealings of prominent political figures in Malta,” he said.

“ICIJ condemns violence against journalists and is deeply concerned about freedom of the press in Malta

“ICIJ calls upon the Maltese authorities to investigate the murder and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Caruana Galizia was also the mother of long-time ICIJ developer and data journalist Matthew Caruana Galizia.

Statements from across the globe were flooding social media as journalists learned of the news.

Times of Malta online editor Herman Grech said Caruana Galizia was “loved and resented in equal measure in politically-divided Malta – but she will go down in the Mediterranean island’s history as one of the most influential writers.

“Her uncompromising blog and scathing pen spared no punches, hitting out mainly at exponents of the ruling Labour Party and their supporters, but also sometimes criticising officials of the centre-right Nationalist Party, including its newly-elected leader,” he wrote.

Many of ICIJ’s members from across the globe took to Twitter to also condemn the attack.

This is absolute horror. The brave maltese blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb. She fought relentless for justice. #RIP https://t.co/JCsh6zDu98

— Bastian Obermayer (@b_obermayer) October 16, 2017

My sincere condolences to her family and colleagues. This murder cannot and should not be unpunished. I am in profound shock. #NOimpunity https://t.co/MjEvahW1Q0

— Anuška Delić (@007_delic) October 16, 2017

There is also a vigil for the journalist in Malta.

Murdered #panamapapers journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s vigil #malta pic.twitter.com/UYjfMNYbSb

— Jacob Borg (@BorgJake) October 16, 2017

 

The post Malta Investigative journalist killed in bomb blast appeared first on International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Categories: News

ICIJ condemns car bomb death of Maltese investigative journalist

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 16:40

ICIJ director Gerard Ryle issued the following statement following the tragic news from Malta:

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is shocked by the news of the death of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Caruana Galizia has been at the forefront of important investigations in the public interest and has exposed offshore dealings of prominent political figures in Malta.

Caruana Galizia was the mother of ICIJ developer and data journalist Matthew Caruana Galizia.

ICIJ condemns violence against journalists and is deeply concerned about freedom of the press in Malta.

ICIJ calls upon the Maltese authorities to investigate the murder and bring the perpetrators to justice.

ICIJ’s thoughts are with the Caruana Galizia family at this time.

The post ICIJ condemns car bomb death of Maltese investigative journalist appeared first on International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Categories: News

Six tips for how to spot (and stop) fake news

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 18:00

Do you know where your news is coming from?

That’s the question at the center of the latest campaign to help improve news literacy among American citizens.

The News Media Alliance’s ‘Support Real News’ campaign aims to raise awareness about the important role of news produced by reputable, trustworthy news organizations, said News Media Alliance President and CEO David Chavern.

The ‘Support Real News’ campaign wants the public to support real news outlets – like ICIJ – by subscribing to and reading trusted news sources produced by trained journalists.

ICIJ was an original partner in the campaign, which started earlier in 2017, and is proud to be involved in the second-phase that launches on Tuesday.

ICIJ’s cross-border investigations, such as the Panama Papers, are just one example of the important role journalists play in democratic society, said ICIJ director Gerard Ryle.

“In Pakistan, for example, it has been nearly 18 months since the Panama Papers was first published and we’re still seeing the effect there. The Prime Minister had to stand down and is under continued scrutiny.

“There have also been waves of legislative change, ongoing official investigations and important public discussions based on the work of ICIJ and its partners around the world.”

Importantly, ICIJ has a rigorous fact-checking policy so you can ensure all the work published by ICIJ can be trusted, he said.

News Media Alliance innovation vice president, Michael MaLoon, said the digitization of news meant it was much harder for readers to tell the difference between real news and fake news.

“That’s why it’s important to know the red flags to look out for that may indicate a story is not real.”

How do you spot a fake news story?

Here are a few red flags to watch for:

Too crazy to be true? Don’t trust it.
“Is the story so outrageous you can’t believe it? Maybe you shouldn’t. Respect the voice inside you that says, ‘What?’” writes NPR’s Steve Inskeep.

Are known/reputable news organizations not reporting on the same story?
Sometimes this is because of media bias, but generally there should always be more than one organization reporting on an event, writes Merrimack College assistant professor of communication and media Melissa Zimdars.

Does it pass the CRAAP test?
It’s a handy acronym for remembering how to ask yourself: is this source full of, uh, craap?

  • Currency: When was it published?
  • Relevance: Is it created for the right audience?
  • Authority: Who wrote it?
  • Accuracy: Is the evidence backed up with data?
  • Purpose: Why was this created and is there an underlying bias?


CRAAP Test – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;

Are you asked to rely on one killer factoid?
“If a hacked document “proves” an implausible conspiracy, look for the context that shows what the document really means. As for photos and video, use Ronald Reagan’s old slogan: trust but verify,” writes NPR’s Steve Inskeep.

Use the Snopes’ field guide to fake news sites
This list of the “most frequent (and unapologetic) hoax purveyors cluttering up newsfeeds everywhere” will make sure you’re not getting caught out.

Invoke the three S approach: Stop, Search and Subscribe!
The Alliance has got a handy three word slogan to make sure you’re reading real news.

  • Stop: Before you share that story… stop and think about the headline: does it tell you everything you need to know?
  • Search: Do you know this publication? How about the author? Google is your friend – do some quick searches to see what you can find.
  • Subscribe: “The easiest way to become media literate is by subscribing to trustworthy, quality journalism,” writes Kirsten Ballard. (So make sure you’re signed up to ICIJ!)

This is just a quick taste of the tips, resources and tools that the Alliance has collated. Check the full list out here. And tune in to the News Media Alliance’s Facebook Live panel at 2 p.m. E.T. today (Tuesday, Oct. 3) to find out more about how to combat fake news.

Read more about the impact from ICIJ’s investigations, and find out how you can support ICIJ’s work

Find out first! Receive ICIJ’s investigations by email.

The post Six tips for how to spot (and stop) fake news appeared first on International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Categories: News

Six tips for how to spot (and stop) fake news

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 08:55
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 7:00am

Join the Support Real News campaign

Do you know where your news is coming from?

That’s the question at the center of the latest campaign to help improve news literacy among American citizens.

Categories: News

Introducing ICIJ’s new grants manager

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 17:55

The ICIJ team is growing (more)!

ICIJ’s new grants manager Caitlin Ginley Sigal. Caitlin Ginley Sigal

We are excited to introduce Caitlin Ginley Sigal as ICIJ’s first-ever grants manager.

Caitlin has a love of philanthropy and nonprofit media, having previously worked in both sectors. She started her career as a journalist at ICIJ’s former parent organization, the Center for Public Integrity, and is thrilled to be back in the field to raise money for investigative journalism.

Caitlin will be responsible for grant proposals, donor relations and grassroots fundraising as part of our drive to increase donations. She will focus on growing our individual donor base and engage with supporters from around the world.

As a nonprofit organization, our work is powered by individual contributions – big and small – that enable us to continue our cross-border investigations on issues that matter to our readers. This support allows us to be sustainable in the long-term and gives us room to grow and innovate.

ICIJ has had a hugely successful year, making it the perfect time for Caitlin to come on board and take advantage of new fundraising opportunities.

She is keen to make the case to current and prospective supporters for why we’re one of the best investments in investigative journalism (and we couldn’t agree more!).

If you have questions or just want to say hello, Caitlin would love to hear from you.

Read more about the impact from ICIJ’s investigations, and find out how you can support ICIJ’s work

Find out first! Receive ICIJ’s investigations by email.

The post Introducing ICIJ’s new grants manager appeared first on International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Categories: News

Introducing ICIJ's new grants manager

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 02:07
Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 9:45pm

Meet our new grants manager.The ICIJ team is growing (more)!

We are excited to introduce Caitlin Ginley Sigal as ICIJ’s first-ever grants manager.

Categories: News

7 charts that show how the rich hide their cash

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 17:53

Who avoids the most tax and what does that mean for inequality?

These were the questions asked by two National Bureau of Economic Research working papers submitted this month (Tax Evasion and Inequality and Who Owns the Wealth in Tax Havens?).  Both papers are available publicly here.

The research was based on a variety of data, including ICIJ’s Swiss Leaks and Panama Papers investigations, and prove for interesting reading. Here are seven highlights from the reports.

1. The ultra-rich avoid the most tax

The ultra-rich, people whose net worth is more than $45 million, are ten times more likely to evade taxes than the average citizen, according to the research.

That means the ultra-rich have worked out how to avoid paying about 30 percent of their personal income and wealth taxes.

And it probably doesn’t stop there, with the authors suggesting that “evasion among the wealthy may be even higher” because their research was based on Scandinavian countries where social trust is high, corruption low and respect for the rule of law strong.

The research also found that offshore wealth increases the “top 0.1 percent wealth share from 8 percent to 10 percent” when looking at Norway specifically. And for top 0.01 percent “taking tax evasion into account increases their wealth by a third.”

2. The ultra-rich are more likely to use offshore accounts

The likelihood of Scandinavians in the bottom 99 per cent of wealth share hiding their assets in HSBC accounts was “negligible,” according to research based on ICIJ’s Swiss Leaks.

But the probability rises to 1 percent among the richest 0.01 percent.

This chart shows the probability of owning an unreported HSBC account by wealth groups. (The first group [P90-P95] represents households worth less than $900,000 and the last the top 0.01 percent who are worth $44.5 million.)

“The gradient is notable too: top 0.01 percent households are 13 times more likely to hide assets at HSBC than households in the bottom half of the top 1 percent,” they wrote.

3. Hardly anyone except the ultra-rich use offshore accounts

The use of offshore accounts “steeply rises with wealth,” according to research based on ICIJ’s Panama Papers.

This charts shows the probability of owning a Mossack Fonseca offshore shell company significantly increased for the top 0.01 percent of Norway and Sweden’s population.

“The use of tax havens appears more concentrated in the Panama Papers than in the HSBC leak,” the authors wrote.

The researchers also suggested one reason very few households outside the 0.01 percent in the Panama Papers used shell companies to conceal wealth is because it is a “more sophisticated” strategy than owning offshore bank accounts.

“Both techniques are often combined, but the wealthiest tax evaders might be more likely to combine offshore accounts with shell companies, when less wealthy tax evaders may be relatively more likely to own offshore accounts directly in their own names.”

4. Tax havens hold 10 percent of global GDP

In the second study, the authors analyzed the global amount of wealth in tax havens.

“We find that while about 10 percent of world GDP is held in tax havens globally, this average masks a great deal of heterogeneity.”

For example, Russia (60 percent), Europe (15 percent) and other nations hold a significant chunk of their GDP offshore, whereas Scandinavian countries own just a few percent of GDP.

5. Offshore wealth is shifting from Switzerland to Asia

The research found the size of this wealth was “not easily explained by tax or institutional factors” but instead correlated more closely with a country’s proximity to Switzerland, the presence of natural resources and political/economic instability.

However, the times might be changing, with the research also discovering wealth was growing in tax havens based in Asia – and mainly in Hong Kong – with offshore accounts held in Switzerland declining since the 2008 financial crisis.

The authors predicted offshore assets in Hong Kong have grown six-fold between 2007 and 2015 with the country now ranked second behind Switzerland for tax havens.

6. Countries with more offshore wealth also use more tax havens

The next chart shows the number of unique owners of shell companies created by Mossack Fonseca in each country before 2006 and active in 2007, using Panama Papers data.

“There are strong similarities between the amount of offshore wealth we estimate and the use of tax havens as revealed by the Panama Papers,” the authors said.

Russia is one such country with a total of 2071 unique shells. The authors also highlighted that China is over-represented in the data given estimates of how much Chinese wealth is offshore. They suggest this could be because estimates of China’s offshore wealth are low, or that Chinese use shell companies for purposes other than concealing wealth.

7. Offshore wealth can substantially increase inequality

So what does that all mean for equality?

Including offshore assets generally increased the 0.01 percent’s wealth share substantially (even in the law abiding Scandinavian countries).

The effect in some countries is much worse than others. In the United Kingdom, Spain and France offshores assets accounted for between 30 to 40 percent of the 0.01 percent’s wealth. In Scandinavia, however, their share of wealth only increases by about 1 percent.

Read more about the impact from ICIJ’s investigations, and find out how you can support ICIJ’s work

Find out first! Receive ICIJ’s investigations by email.

The post 7 charts that show how the rich hide their cash appeared first on International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Categories: News

7 charts that show how the rich hide their cash

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 06:20
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 3:00am

Offshore cash

Who avoids the most tax and what does that mean for inequality?

Categories: News

Throwback Thursday: Tricks of the trade

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 17:50

It’s #ThrowbackThursday, or #FlashbackFriday if you happen to be ahead of the times, so we’ve decided to resurface one of our Luxembourg Leaks videos.

For those who don’t know, or maybe just don’t remember, the LuxLeaks – as they became known – was a six-month investigation.

ICIJ worked with more than 80 reporters in 26 countries on the project that analyzed nearly 28,000 pages of leaked documents.

The documents detailed special tax deals granted by the Luxembourg government to some of the world’s largest corporations, including Disney and Ikea. In total, the investigation revealed nearly 340 companies that were using secret Luxembourg deals to slash their global tax bills. These deals were managed by PwC, Ernst & Young, Deloitte and KPMG.

The LuxLeaks investigation prompted widespread condemnation of the practice, but that didn’t stop Luxembourg and a year later the country had made another 172 “sweetheart deals.”

This video below explains how the huge companies behind everyday brand names, products and services slashed their tax bills.

Read more about the impact from ICIJ’s investigations, and find out how you can support ICIJ’s work

Find out first! Receive ICIJ’s investigations by email.

The post Throwback Thursday: Tricks of the trade appeared first on International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Categories: News

Throwback Thursday: Tricks of the trade

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 07:14
Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 12:45am

Categories: News

Rabbit Holes: Choosing what to investigate

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 17:00
[<a href=”//storify.com/awilsonchapman/icij-at-storyology” target=”_blank”>View the story “ICIJ at Storyology ” on Storify</a>]

Read more about the impact from ICIJ’s investigations, and find out how you can support ICIJ’s work

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The post Rabbit Holes: Choosing what to investigate appeared first on International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Categories: News

Rabbit Holes: Choosing what to investigate

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 06:19
Amy Wilson-ChapmanAugust 31, 2017, 1:45 am  Choosing what to investigate ICIJ director Gerald Ryle discusses how to chose what to investigate with journalists from Australia, India and America.
Categories: News

Panama Papers a ‘notable security success’

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 16:56

The Panama Papers has been dubbed a “notable security success” in a new academic report, which says easy-to-use tools and firm instructions were key in keeping the investigation a secret up until it launched.

The paper, titled ‘When the Weakest Link is Strong: Secure Collaboration in the Case of the Panama Papers’, sought to unpack how ICIJ was able to wrangle nearly 400 journalists across 80 countries to work together on the story for 12 months without anybody else finding out.

One of the project’s biggest successes, according to the report, was how easy members found it to use security measures such as encryption and two-factor authentication.

This was despite a survey of 118 ICIJ members that found journalists were mostly unaware or had never used PGP or two-factor authentication prior to this project (47 percent and 45 percent respectively).

The decision that all members must encrypt their data and use two-factor authentication for logging into networks was enforced by ICIJ throughout the project. The authors said this was a “striking” decision, but meant journalists weren’t left wondering which tools to use.

However, just 10 percent of the journalists surveyed said the technology was “extremely hard” to use with the majority, 63 percent, saying the security requirements were “easy” to use.

“I am kind of technologically challenged, so the fact that I was able to navigate these security features means it was probably as simple as it could be while still being effective,” said one member.

The authors also praised the decision to encourage encryption by default for all messages and documents – no matter how sensitive the material – as it eliminated any “social complexities” for journalists around what to encrypt and what not to encrypt.

Another reason journalists were so willing to adapt to the technology was because they understood the sensitive nature of the documents, but also didn’t want to be left out of future projects, according to the authors.

Journalists also praised ICIJ’s secure communication platform, known as the Global I-Hub, for being an easy tool to use that enabled them to effectively collaborate with other journalists – no matter where they were.

“One of the more important impacts was that journalists discovered how convenient, powerful and good it is to collaborate … I think that the I-Hub contributed to this: to teach them how to interact, and it is a really good thing to share knowledge, share documents, share data, and build these networks,” said one ICIJ staff member who was also surveyed for the paper.

The I-HUB was developed by ICIJ’s technology team to be similar to other programs they were already using. The authors highlight the use of a “like” button (similar to that of Facebook’s) that allowed journalists to quickly respond to another member’s latest find.

The authors of the article, which was included in the 26th USENIX Security Symposium this year, were Susan McGregor, Columbia Journalism School; Elizabeth Watkins, Columbia University; Mahdi Al-Ameen and Kelly Caine, Clemson University; and Franziska Roesner, University of Washington.

A full copy of the report can be found here.

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The post Panama Papers a ‘notable security success’ appeared first on International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Categories: News

Panama Papers a 'notable security success'

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 01:01
August 28, 2017, 8:15 pm The Panama Papers has been dubbed a 'notable security success' for its easy-to-use tools and firm security instructions.
Categories: News

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