The Panama papers revealed only one of the vast networks used by criminals, corrupt politicians and tax evaders to hide wealth from scrutiny. There are many, many more.
My friend, Tom Barnett, at his new digs on resilient.com explains why this leak is important:
There's nothing new in tax evasion through parking one's financial assets "offshore." That's been around for a very long time. Instead, what's truly stunning here is the routinization and systematizing of these nefarious practices. It reminds me of the leap from a pogrom to the Holocaust: a massacre you can attempt to blame on particular circumstances, timing, leaders, etc., but a genuine effort at genocide is something operating on an entirely different level. The former, because it's short-lived, can be sustained by emotion, but the latter, because it takes years of consistent effort, requires something far worse - a truly deformed sense of morality.
This is the same reason I found the financial crisis of 2007-2016 so troubling (others found it troubling too since it launched both the Tea party and Occupy):
This financial crisis demonstrated, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the entire US system from Wall Street to Washington is an elaborate fraud.
A morally bankrupt system we can't (read: won't) dismantle because it has become routine and accepted.
A system that is actively destroying the socioeconomic fabric of the US and strangling our future.
A truly deformed sense of morality that has become disturbingly pervasive.