Here come more names.  Today, May 9, at 2pm EST (that’s actually 2am May 10 Hong Kong time) the The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is going to release a searchable database of more than 200,000 secret offshore companies, including the names of anyone who is a director or a shareholder.

Here’s the link to the database, which already includes an overwhelming amount of information from the largest data leak in history.

Unlike WikiLeaks and its reveal-everything modus operandi, the ICIJ is only releasing certain information. That information doesn’t include bank account numbers, telephone numbers, email addresses or passport numbers of the people involved. Its a selective reveal, designed to diminish personal harm while exposing a global network of financial secrecy.

Nearly everyday, something new is published from the Panama Papers. Today, it’s that Latin Americans are hiding wealth in New Zealand, of all places. Also today,  300 top economists sent a letter to world leaders at a summit in the UK denouncing the need for tax havens and demanding the veil of secrecy be lifted.

We already know about Iceland’s prime minister, who resigned because of the papers, Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has made his friends very, very rich, and Xi Jingping’s massive offshore wealth. But the new information coming out today is going to spark an explosion of new stories.

Want to catch up on what’s already been revealed? Here’s a quick video on some major secrets with very dramatic music from the Guardian:


Here’s an interesting video from the ICIJ that explains how the Irish journalist working in Australia Gerald Ryle got the information and how he figured out how to sift through the massive amount of data. Step one: bribe the IT guy at the paper with beer. Step two: move to the US and get the ICIJ to help by crowdsourcing the investigation to more than 300 journalists in 46 countries.


For those of us in Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post got off to a slow start but then got the ball rolling with good investigations of Hong Kong and China’s connection to the Panama law offices of Mossack Fonseca. Check out their reporting here, including the scandal with Polytechnic University, one of Hong Kong eight publicly funded universities, which set up two offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands.

As for those of you in China, unless you actively jump the Great Firewall or leave the country, you’ve probably never heard of the Panama Papers. Want to know what the government is keeping from you? Turn on your VPN and read these articles from The Economist, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

And for any of you who wonder why we should care about a bunch of rich people hiding money, this video by the ICIJ makes the connection between the Panama Paper and victims of the war in Syria, sex slaves, arms deals and drug trafficking.