Panama papers – Offshore leaks of the wealthiest 1%

Offshore Trove Exposes Trump-Russia Links And Piggy Banks Of The Wealthiest 1 Percent


A trove of 13.4 million records exposes ties between Russia and U.S. President Donald Trump’s billionaire commerce secretary, the secret dealings of the chief fundraiser for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the offshore interests of the queen of England and more than 120 politicians around the world.

The leaked documents, dubbed the Paradise Papers, show how deeply the offshore financial system is entangled with the overlapping worlds of political players, private wealth and corporate giants, including Apple, Nike, Uber and other global companies that avoid taxes through increasingly imaginative bookkeeping maneuvers.

One offshore web leads to Trump’s commerce secretary, private equity tycoon Wilbur Ross, who has a stake in a shipping company that has received more than $68 million in revenue since 2014 from a Russian energy company co-owned by the son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The new files come from two offshore services firms as well as from 19 corporate registries maintained by governments in jurisdictions that serve as waystations in the global shadow economy. The leaks were obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and a network of more than 380 journalists in 67 countries.

The promise of tax havens is secrecy – offshore locales create and oversee companies that often are difficult, or impossible, to trace back to their owners. While having an offshore entity is often legal, the built-in secrecy attracts money launderers, drug traffickers, kleptocrats and others who want to operate in the shadows. Offshore companies, often “shells” with no employees or office space, are also used in complex tax-avoidance structures that drain billions from national treasuries.

The offshore industry makes “the poor poorer” and is “deepening wealth inequality,” said Brooke Harrington, a certified wealth manager and Copenhagen Business School professor who is the author of ‘Capital without Borders: Wealth Managers and the One Percent.’

“There is this small group of people who are not equally subject to the laws as the rest of us, and that’s on purpose,” Harrington said. These people “live the dream” of enjoying “the benefits of society without being subject to any of its constraints.”

Offshore leaks database: https://offshoreleaks.icij.org/
If you check if there is local Romania / Moldova guys involved too in leaks, of course they are. Just some of them:
– Alexandru Sîrbu / John Maxemchuk and Sun Communications: https://offshoreleaks.icij.org/nodes/10101340
– Ion Sturza: https://offshoreleaks.icij.org/nodes/12096662
– Anatolie Stati: https://offshoreleaks.icij.org/nodes/12102317
– OMV Petrom S.A.: https://offshoreleaks.icij.org/nodes/12139794
– Sorin Ovidiu Vintu: https://offshoreleaks.icij.org/nodes/28909


Belarusul pune cetățenii la lucru…

Presedintele belarus Aleksandr Lukașenko își impune cetățenii care nu lucrează să plătească ”impozitul pe parazitism”. Este vorba de decretul nr. 3 privind „Impozitul pe parazitism” (Декрет №3 о тунеядцах – «О предупреждении социального иждивенчества»).

Aceste măsuri au făcut ca mii de cetățeni să protesteze recent în Belarus la așa-numitele ”marșuri ale neparaziților”.

Decretul impune un impozit pentru cei care nu lucreaza 6 luni sau mai mult într-un an. Taxa impusa este de aproximativ 360 de ruble belaruse (circa 190 $).

Având în vedere admirația domnului “Președinte” Dodon față de Președintele belarus Aleksandr Lukașenko, ar trebui să ne așteptăm la o astfel de abordare și în Republica Moldova pentru a ferici poporul?

Why states fail and how to rebuild them ?!

Reading of the day -> The Economist: Why states fail and how to rebuild them
What we can learn from countries that failed to build themselves?!


– Few things matter more than fixing failed states. Broadly defined, state failure provides “a general explanation for why poor countries are poor”. Life in a failed or failing state is short and harsh.

– Lawless regions, such as the badlands of Pakistan and Yemen, act as havens for terrorists.[…] In the most extreme form of state failure, in places like Somalia, the central government does not even control the capital city. In milder forms, as in Nigeria, the state is far from collapse but highly dysfunctional and unable to control all of its territory. Or, as in North Korea today or China under Mao Zedong, it controls all of its territory but governs in a way that makes everyone but a tiny elite much worse off.

– The key to understanding state failure is “institutions, institutions, institutions”.

– States are not wretched and unstable because of geography—if so, how to explain the success of landlocked Botswana? Nor is culture the main culprit: if so, South Koreans would not be more than 20 times richer than North Koreans. Some societies have “inclusive institutions that foster economic growth”; others have “extractive institutions that hamper it”.

The world’s newest country, South Sudan has received billions of dollars of aid and the advice of swarms of consultants since seceding from Sudan in 2011, but has failed to build any institutions worthy of the name. South Sudan failed to build institutions that transcended tribal loyalties or curbed the power of warlords. There are plenty of government buildings, including state ministries of education, culture and health. But none of them does much. Nowhere in South Sudan does the state do what it is supposed to.

The fighting becomes tribal because warlords recruit by stirring up ethnic tension so that their kinsmen will rally to them. This creates a vicious circle. Lacking protection from other institutions, people seek it from their own tribe. Rather than demand evenhanded government, they back tribal leaders, knowing that they will steal and hoping they will share the spoils with their kin.

– “The politics of the vast majority of societies throughout history has led, and still leads today, to extractive institutions.” These tend to last because they give rulers the resources to pay armies, bribe judges and rig elections to stay in power. These rulers adopt bad policies not because they are ignorant of good ones but on purpose. Letting your relatives embezzle is bad for the nation but great for your family finances.

– But failed states are not doomed to stay that way. Even states that have collapsed completely can be rebuilt. Liberia and Sierra Leone were stalked by drug-addled child soldiers a decade and a half ago; now both are reasonably calm. The key is nearly always better leadership: think of how China changed after Mao died. Many bad rulers continue deliberately to adopt bad policies, but they can be—and often are—replaced with better ones.

Afghanistan case. Afghanistan’s president since 2014, Mr Ghani is a former academic and author of a book called “Fixing Failed States”. His TED talk on fixing broken states has been viewed 750,000 times. Now he is trying to put his own theories into practice.

Cel mai iubit dintre moldoveni…

Decretul Președintelui Republicii Moldova – Nicolae Timofti de acordarea cetățeniei moldovenești Dlui Traian Băsescu și soției sale a fost publicat în Monitorul Oficial al Republicii Moldova.


Poate această mișcare a dnul Traian Băsescu impulsiona mai mulți cetățeni români să aplice pentru obținerea cetățeniei moldovenești?!

UPDATE 06.01.2017:  Bătălia cetățeniei continuă…..
Deținerea cetățeniei moldovenește de către Traian Băsescu nu a durat mult. Odată cu venirea la tronul de Președinte a Republicii Moldova a socialistului Igor Dodon, acesta a semnat decretul de retragerea a cetățeniei moldovenești dnului Traian Băsescu.
Să vedem ce turnură  vor avea lucrurile în continuare …


PS: Un mic detaliu totuși se poate observa – Monitorul Oficial din 06.01.2017 nu conține niciun dectret al dlui Igor Dodon cu privire la retragerea cetățeniei pentru soția dnului Traian Băsescu!?

Rezultatele alegerilor parlamentare din România

Harta României s-a înroșit dupa alegerile parlamentare care au avut loc pe 11 decembrie 2016: PSD a obținut cele mai multe voturi în 35 de județe.

Dupa numărarea a 98% din voturile exprimate la alegerile parlamentare 2016, situația arată zdrobitor pentru PNL, care nu reușește sa obțină cel mai mare numar de voturi decât în trei județe – Cluj, Alba și Sibiu, în timp ce PSD câștigă în 35 de județe.

UDMR și-a menținut supremația în Satu Mare, Mureș, Harghita și Covasna.

În diasporă, PNL și USR sunt pe primele locuri, la diferență infimă (Senat: USR – 26,91%; PNL – 26,54%; PMP – 24,57% și PSD – 10,56%, iar la Camera Deputaților: USR – 26,52%; PNL – 26,37%; PMP – 23,66% și PSD – 10,55%).

Potrivit datelor făcute publice de Biroul Electoral Central (BEC), la numărătoarea parțială, căștigătorul detașat al acestor alegeri este PSD, obținând aproape de 46% atât la Camera Deputaților, cât și la Senat, dupa centralizarea a 99,8% din cele 7,2 milioane de voturi exprimate.

PNL se situează la mai puțin de jumătate din scorul PSD, atingând 20% din voturi. USR a reușit să intre în Parlament, cu aproape 9%. De asemenea, UDMR și ALDE au trecut pragul electoral cu în jur de 6%, în timp ce PMP este la peste 5%, atat la Camera Deputaților, cât și la Senat.


Goodbye Moldova! / La revedere Moldova!

Welcome back in USSR. After 25 years of independence from Soviet Union and after 16 years of president election by the Parliament, people had a chance to elect again directly his president.


Igor Dodon, pro-Russian candidate, won in the presidential elections in Moldova on 11/13/2016. After 7 years of pro-European direction, people of Moldova voted for a pro-Russia president with a rate of 52,27%.  It seems that more people want a better relation with Russia and a change of priorities in external  policies.


In the same time, Government authorities have been accused of bad organisation of the elections, especially that many citizen from abroad could not accomplish their voting rights, use of administrative resources and other violations.

As result, Moldova has now a pro-European government which was not able to convince the people of the need of European reforms and a pro-Russia president, with young people announcing protests due to defrauded elections.  In the end another period of uncertainty and instability comes in this small country at the edge of the European Union.


How reasonable are politicians’ promises?!

Politicians usually promise almost anything in the election campaign. But, a lot of it won’t actually happen. NPR is trying to analyse the promises of the candidates in the president election in USA, by making a survey of 22 economists on them. The NPR program can be found here .

What about the promises of our local politicians? Are they reasonable?!  It is a rhetorical question of course  🙂

The Economist: My name is Paste. Copy Paste

The Economist: My name is Paste. Copy Paste

According to party loyalists, Prime Minister Victor Ponta is in select company. Interior minister Ioan Rus on Friday claimed (this and most other links in Romanian) that “ever since Plato and Aristoteles, everyone who has ever written a PhD in philosophy, in social sciences, has plagiarised.” Apart from the bemusement that Mr Rus’s statement may cause, it is also an indication that despite energetic (foes say clumsy) attempts to silence the plagiarism scandal, the 39-year-old Prime Minister may be heading for the same political graveyard that contains the corpses of the German defence minister Theodor zu Guttenberg and the president of neighbouring Hungary, Pál Schmitt.

In an interview (link in Spanish) with El Pais last week, Mr Ponta promised to resign if proven that his PhD about the International Criminal Court was an act of plagiarism. He made those statements before the ethics committee in charge gave its ruling, with its chairman saying it was plagiarised “copy-paste style”, 85 pages out of a total of 307, from the work of another Romanian scholar. The relevant text excerpts can be found here.

In an twist of irony, the professor who oversaw Mr Ponta’s work was no other than his political mentor, Romania’s former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, the first high level official to be put behind bars for corruption. Barely was the verdict out than the Ponta government dissolved the entire committee, alleging it was full of acolytes of Traian Basescu, the country’s president and the PM’s political rival. A few days earlier, the government also took over the publication of the official gazette, until then under the authority of the parliament. The move seems also politically motivated: the journal so far has failed to publish a verdict of the Constitutional Court which Mr Ponta chose to ignore last week, the first public official since 1989 to do so.

The court had ruled in favour of the president in a long-lasting squabble over whom should represent the country at EU summits. Mr Ponta went to Brussels anyway, claiming again that the ruling was politically motivated by “a bunch of judges appointed by Basescu.” The president, a shrewd former sea captain, surprised everyone by staying home. And he took his time in giving Mr Ponta an official mandate to represent the country. “I got a phone call from the Prime Minister around noon saying he wants a mandate,” Mr Basescu told journalists last week in Bucharest. It took another few hours for the fax to arrive – the EU summit had already begun.

The episode, along with the politicisation of state institutions ranging from the public television to Romania’s cultural institutes abroad – has sparked the outrage of the country’s cultural elite. Among them is Herta Muller, a German-speaking writer of Romanian origin who in 2009 won the Nobel prize for literature for her works exposing the terror under the infamous Securitate, the secret police under the Communist regime. Gabriel Liiceanu, a prominent philosopher, who wrote about the “combination of circus and nightmare” that has grabbed the public opinion in the past two months since the Ponta government came to power.

The Social-Liberal government has been in power since May. It gained a a majority thanks to mass desertions from the PDL party that had ruled the country since parliamentary elections in 2008. New elections are due this fall and polls so far (and local election results last month) indicate a clear win for the ruling coalition. Mr Ponta would be sorry to miss that.