The global super-elite rule the world and we have the receipts
It's not a conspiracy theory if proof of the plutocracy's corruption and domination is everywhere.
Do you believe that Jeffrey Epstein was murdered, Obama faked his birth certificate, or share QAnon’s view of satanic power brokers drinking the blood of infants? That’s fake news! You’re a naive conspiracist.
That’s according to a recent Washington Post piece that invites you to test your own personal flights of conspiratorial fancy. These theories, says the Post, follow a simple formula and infer that powerful people are using deceitful or shadowy means to harm the public or benefit themselves.
Using this template, one could play a kind of conspiracy Mad Libs such as: Sam Sanders is brainwashing bored Boomers into voting for Democrats or Moderna is building bioweapons for George Soros.
On the surface, it sounds like a reasonable position to beware of easy overarching narratives to explain the complexities of the world. But it’s possible to go to far the other way and dismiss evidence that shows how rich and powerful people quietly pull the strings of systems and institutions for their benefit because it meets the pattern of a conspiracy theory—a sort of inverse conspiracy theory.
To wit, let’s examine this thesis: A small cabal of the global super-elite runs the world. It sounds like something you’d get branded a tin-foil hatted maniac for saying out loud. Yet, we suddenly have the Pandora Papers—12 million receipts that collectively represent a smoking gun of the oligarchy’s dirty tricks that it plays with the global financial systems.
The papers reveal the banking secrets of three dozen world leaders, hundreds of high-level politicos, plus a plethora of rich capitalists, entertainers, fugitives, con artists, and murderers from more than 90 countries. They range from the King of Jordan, Shakira, to Putin’s baby-mama. Studies have estimated that $8 to $11 trillion or up to 10 percent of the world’s GDP is being laundered or stowed away in various offshore accounts away from the eyes of taxing governments.
The cache of papers also shows that the offshore money machine is handled by a surprisingly small number of elite institutions, such as Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee, a Panamanian law firm led by a former ambassador to the U.S. that has set up at least 3,926 offshore companies.
Another key player is Baker McKenzie, a U.S. law firm that has had a starring role in setting up the modern shadow economy. According to the journalists who leaked the Pandora Papers, Baker McKenzie has used their lobbying and legislation-drafting know-how to shape financial laws around the world and profited from work done for people tied to fraud and corruption. For instance, they helped Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky launder $5.5 billion through a number of shell companies, purchasing factories and commercial properties across the American heartland.
These firms also help the rich and powerful stay two steps ahead of slow-moving regulators. After the Pandora Papers’ predecessor came out a half-decade ago (the Paradise Papers), some politicians tried to prosecute or clamp down on the financial chicanery. Elizabeth Warren, for instance, announced an attempted crackdown on offshore accounts in 2019 but those efforts have faded into the background.
There’s institutionalized inertia in this matter because the political system is available for hire. Mohamed Amersi, who is named in the Pandora Papers and funded Boris Johnson’s campaign for UK prime minister, put it this way: “You get to access, you get invitations, you get privileged relationships, if you are part of the setup.”
Just ask BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world. A decade ago, BlackRock grew its footprint in Washington and some of the company’s alumni worked in the Obama administration. Biden followed suit and named former BlackRockians to run the National Economic Council and a top position in the Treasury Department.
Is it any wonder that the U.S. is considered the second easiest country in the world to set up a shell company? The Pandora Papers revealed that almost $360 billion are sitting in trusts in South Dakota, some of it tied to foreign individuals and companies accused of human rights abuses and other wrongdoing.
It’s not as if this information is even new or surprising. Read this quote:
...the rich of today are also different from the rich of yesterday. Our light-speed, globally connected economy has led to the rise of a new super-elite that consists, to a notable degree, of first- and second-generation wealth. Its members are hardworking, highly educated, jet-setting meritocrats who feel they are the deserving winners of a tough, worldwide economic competition—and many of them, as a result, have an ambivalent attitude toward those of us who didn’t succeed so spectacularly. Perhaps most noteworthy, they are becoming a transglobal community of peers who have more in common with one another than with their countrymen back home. Whether they maintain primary residences in New York or Hong Kong, Moscow or Mumbai, today’s super-rich are increasingly a nation unto themselves.
That observation sounds very contemporary, but it’s actually pre-Bernie 2016 and even pre-Occupy Wall Street. In early 2011, The Atlantic published a prescient feature called “The Rise of the New Global Elite.”
The article pegs June 21, 2007, as the “coming out party” for the new plutocracy. It was the day Blackstone (not to be confused with BlackRock) the private equity giant that also has its fingerprints all over the shadow banking industry, raised $4 billion through an IPO and created a publicly held company worth $31 billion at the time. Yes, that’s the same Blackstone with close ties to the Clintons and the Democratic Party as a whole.
Fifteen years later, this international elite has coalesced their power and influence even more, as the Pandora Papers have demonstrated. Not that you hear much about the Papers anyway—most organizations have relegated it to the “Business” section. If we want the corporate media to care more about them we’d need AOC to wear the Pandora Papers to a gala.
Like climate change, the global elite’s political and financial domination is a collective problem moving in slow motion but has begun to reach a crisis point. To say so plainly isn’t to espouse a conspiracy theory, it’s to observe reality.