The Panama Paper scandal is just the latest manifestation of the Age of the Internet.
THERE ARE NO MORE SECRETS.
Its amazing how many people (mostly over the age of 50) have still not figured this out.
Before you make any decision, in life, politics, or business, ask yourself these questions:
“Do I mind if my kids find out about this?”
“Do I mind if the police find out about this?”
“Do I mind if my community find out about this?”
If the answer is “Yes” to any of these questions, don’t do it.
It is guaranteed that one day your deed will come to light, and your community, the police, and most painfully, your kids, will find out.
Maybe you won’t go to jail, but you might find a protest outside your door (like the Icelandic government did on Tuesday).
At the very least your family gatherings will be awkward. Your kids, your in-laws, your spouse, all looking at you with that funny expression normally associated with consuming laxative and Imodium at the same time.
Its not about whether you actually did something dodgy, its about whether it looks like you did something dodgy.
Form over substance. Perception over reality.
Having a Swiss bank account is dodgy, period. Why would you have one unless you’re avoiding taxes or hiding money (or unless you’re Swiss)?
If the tax-man or the media one day get a list of all Swiss bank account holders, and your name is on it, you’re screwed.
You can protest till you’re blue in the face, no one will be listening. Its difficult to hear your shouts of innocence above the rancour of the baying crowd.
Keep your life simple. Pay your taxes. Avoid Panama, Cyprus and all other dodgy tax havens.
Don’t do things you can’t tell your kids about.