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US Financial System, Tax Authorities Refuse to Police Super-Rich

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Offshore - Sputnik International
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Only a handful of wealthy Americans and institutions bother to use overseas tax havens because they know the US government and financial regulators will let them get away with illegal behavior, US analysts told Sputnik.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Mossack Fonseca was the source of 11.5 million leaked documents, referred to as the Panama Papers, identifying more than 360,000 individuals and corporations around the world, among which only 36 American entities or persons were found.

Activists take part in a demonstration outside the European Commission (EC) headquarters ahead of statements by the EC on the effectiveness of existing measures against tax evasion and money-laundering in light of the recent Panama Paper revelations, in Brussels, Belgium, April 12, 2016. - Sputnik International
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"None of the big banks or ratings agencies that were engaged in criminal behavior and so were responsible for the [2008 Wall Street financial] crash was even indicted let alone prosecuted and jailed.” scientist and political commentator John V. Walsh said.

Only one very small investor was convicted but no serious action was taken against any of the major US banks or other financial institutions involved, Walsh recalled.

Walsh concluded that the major Wall Street financial institutions that survived the 2008-9 crisis were not only too big to be allowed to fail, they were also too big to be prosecuted.

Walsh dismissed an article published in the US journal "Foreign Policy" arguing that the United States benefitted from vigorously enforced financial laws and regulations as "gibberish."

He said the problem was the opposite – that financial regulations already on the books had not been effectively implemented.

An activist takes part in a demonstration outside the European Commission (EC) headquarters ahead of statements by the EC on the effectiveness of existing measures against tax evasion and money-laundering in light of the recent Panama Paper revelations, in Brussels, Belgium, April 12, 2016. - Sputnik International
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Executive Intelligence Review (EIR) senior editor Jeff Steinberg said there could have been many more Americans exposed in the Panama papers but the Mossack Fonseca law firm had stopped taking on US clients after it became aware of new federal government investigations into its activities.

"The law firm policy [was] to stop taking American clients after the FBI-DOJ [Department of Justice] started probes," Steinberg explained.

On Monday the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) published a searchable database of nearly 214,000 offshore entities created in 21 jurisdictions, from Nevada to Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands.

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