When her idyllic vacation takes an unthinkable turn, Ellen Martin (Academy Award winner Meryl Streep) begins investigating a fake insurance policy, only to find herself down a rabbit hole of questionable dealings that can be linked to a Panama City law firm and its vested interest in helping the world’s wealthiest citizens amass even larger fortunes.
The charming — and very well-dressed — founding partners Jürgen Mossack (Academy Award winner Gary Oldman) and Ramón Fonseca (Golden Globe nominee Antonio Banderas) are experts in the seductive ways shell companies and offshore accounts help the rich and powerful prosper. They are about to show us that Ellen’s predicament only hints at the tax evasion, bribery and other illicit absurdities that the super wealthy indulge in to support the world’s corrupt financial system.
Weeks after its limited theatrical release, but just two days before its scheduled wide streaming release, the two men at the center of the film, Jürgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca sued Netflix on October 16, 2019, attempting to block the film’s release. They argued that the film defamed them. Netflix responded the next day, calling the suit “laughable” and saying the film was “constitutionally protected speech.” A Connecticut judge moved the case to California later that day and stopped an injunction, allowing the film to be released as planned.
Steven Soderbergh‘s effort to educate viewers on important but dry matters of money manipulation is not without purpose. The film directs viewers to stand up and take action, pointing out how laws have been changed to make tax avoidance easier by those who can afford a wealth management team. It’s informative, explaining straight to the camera the origins of money, credit, and where it all goes askew.
The narrative is told from the perpetrators’ point of view. They explain what happened while also shirking responsibility and pointing fingers at others. Clients find that their bad behavior has put them into a precarious position. They defend their solutions with arguments that adults may recognize don’t hold water — but to younger, more impressionable minds, those arguments may sound sensible. The cast is full of award winners and familiar faces, to the point that counting up the cameos is its own joy. The Laundromat is for knowledge seekers. It’s an entertaining way to understand money laundering at the highest level. It drives home how the rich and powerful are using loopholes and legal manipulations to avoid paying taxes, leaving the poor and middle class holding the bag.
The Real Panama Papers:
It’s being called the “Panama Papers” — a trove of 11.5 million leaked internal documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, showing how hundreds of thousands of people with money to hide used anonymous shell corporations across the world. Fusion’s investigative unit was one of the more than 100 media organizations that dove into the files — and found drug dealers, arms traders, human traffickers, fraudsters. We also found no shortage of politicians or their family members.Courtesy FUSION
Here is a listing of current and former world leaders connected to the files. Check out Dirty Little Secrets, Fusion’s full investigation into the leak and the underworld it exposes.
For additional information on these names and more, read “The Power Players,” an interactive presentation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), from which much of this information is gleaned.
Just one day after the Panama Papers leak, the IRS headquarters reported a fire in their basement, leading some to believe they may be trying to destroy evidence of potential involvement.
Since their release in April of 2016, the Panama Papers have rocked virtually every government and politician’s world. With over 11.5 million documents stolen and leaked, media organizations have been scrounging to find stories on Americans; while mainstream media has relayed that foreign governments and leaders are involved, there has only been massing mention of American citizens who have hidden their funds offshore. Curiously, at the peak of the scandal, the IRS headquarters endured a fire in the basement of their headquarters in Washington, D.C. This ultimately led to the closure of headquarters for over a week.
According to the Associated Press, “the agency said in a news release Tuesday that Monday afternoon’s fire affected the air handling system. No one was hurt in the fire…Officials say tax returns are not processed at headquarters; taxpayers should continue to file their returns.”
The coincidental timing is being deemed as too coincidental, according to some critics. Speculations of the fire being an inside job, created for the sole purpose of destroying records, have spread rapidly. This would indicate possible evidence that could be used to implicate specific individuals in the Panama Paper scandals would become as nonexistent as some of the articles have.
More in-depth details about the Panama Papers & subsequent revelations are in the sources. (below)
- Panama Papers The Power Players | An Interactive Storyboard
- Panama Papers Scandal May Land Sanders the White House
- PANAMA PAPERS: THE AFTERMATH
- Can We Trust the IRS? One Day After Panama Papers Leak, IRS Catches Fire, Closes
- Here are the famous politicos in ‘the Wikileaks of the mega-rich’
- Massive data leak in Panama reveals money rings of global leaders
- Worldwide, jaws drop to ‘Panama Papers’ leak
- Common Sense Media – The Laundromat