The big news this week among people who pay attention to Big News is the leak of The Panama Papers, a massive archive of 11.5 million financial and legal documents uncovered by the International Consortium Of Investigative Journalists that—to put it in the most reductive terms possible—details how rich people hide their money in offshore accounts so they can avoid taxes and the occasional ex-spouse. (Or launder dirty money, if you happen to be a big-time criminal. Offshore accounts don’t judge.) And while the accounts aren’t illegal, the leak basically confirms everything the rest of us have always suspected about the essential selfishness of the one percent (or .01 percent). In other words, Bernie Sanders must be livid right now.
The prime minister of Iceland has already resigned over the discovery of a shady offshore shell company he signed over to his wife in 2009, and powerful world political leaders—including associates of Vladimir Putin—are implicated in the leak. But we don’t really report on world political leaders here at The A.V. Club, unless it’s in the context of their close personal friendship with Steven Seagal.
But it is within our purview to inform you that Jackie Chan, friend to all and the closest thing to a real-life superhero we have (seriously, the man is indestructible), has at least six offshore companies managed by Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm from which the documents originated. And for Bollywood fans, there’s the revelation that beloved movie patriarch Amitabh Bachchan holds four offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands. And Spanish director Pedro Almodovar canceled a round of interviews and screenings for his new movie, Julieta, today, after it was revealed that his brother had funneled money, presumably from the director’s early successes like Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, into an offshore company in the early ’90s. The Almodovar brothers closed their offshore company in 1994.