Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite (Hardcover)
A two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist takes us inside the world revealed by the Panama Papers, a landscape of illicit money, political corruption, and fraud on a global scale.
A hidden circulatory system flows beneath the surface of global finance, carrying trillions of dollars from drug trafficking, tax evasion, bribery, and other illegal enterprises. This network masks the identities of the individuals who benefit from these activities, aided by bankers, lawyers, and auditors who get paid to look the other way.
In Secrecy World, the Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter Jake Bernstein explores this shadow economy and how it evolved, drawing on millions of leaked documents from the files of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca—a trove now known as the Panama Papers—as well as other journalistic and government investigations. Bernstein shows how shell companies operate, how they allow the superwealthy and celebrities to escape taxes, and how they provide cover for illicit activities on a massive scale by crime bosses and corrupt politicians across the globe.
Bernstein traveled to the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and within the United States to uncover how these strands fit together—who is involved, how they operate, and the real-world impact. He recounts how Mossack Fonseca was exposed and what lies ahead for the corporations, banks, law firms, individuals, and governments that are implicated.
Secrecy World offers a disturbing and sobering view of how the world really works and raises critical questions about financial and legal institutions we may once have trusted.
About the Author
Jake Bernstein was a senior reporter on the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists team that broke the Panama Papers story. In 2017, the project won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. Bernstein earned his first Pulitzer Prize in 2011 for National Reporting, for coverage of the financial crisis. He has written for The Washington Post, Bloomberg, The Guardian, ProPublica, and Vice, and has appeared on the BBC, NBC, CNN, PBS, and NPR. He was the editor of The Texas Observer and is the coauthor of Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency.
"A compelling, fast-paced narrative . . . enlightening and deeply troubling."--Texas Monthly, "Best Books of 2017"
"[Bernstein] concentrates on telling the stories of those who broke the law, evaded taxes, circumvented international sanctions, hid assets, cheated partners, or 'normalized' fortunes made through crime and corruption." —The Washington Post
“A searching look at the tangled, deeply buried financial network exposed by the publication of the so-called Panama Papers. . . . Bernstein does first-rate work in providing a map to a scandal that has yet to unfold completely.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)