Seth Meyers Explains Panama Papers

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By Joe Messina

Last night on Late Night, Seth Meyers took a Closer Look at the Panama Papers, a massive leak of classified documents that exposed world leaders, celebrities, and other elites who use offshore tax havens. I love when new information reveals that our nuttiest conspiracy theorists were actually right all along. Enough Alex Jones theories have been proven true that you shouldn’t trust the system. Just ten years ago George Carlin was still considered crazy for saying things that presidential candidates routinely say now, especially one whose name rhymes with Ernie Flanders.

The Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca helps foreigners set up shell companies so they can hold financial assets in secret. Those implicated in the scandal include high-profile individuals ranging from Vladimir Putin to Jackie Chan.

“What a shame that Jackie Chan and Vladimir Putin are showing up together in anything other than Rush Hour 4: Russian Hour,” Meyers said in one of the strongest jokes of the segment.

Some people do use offshore companies for legitimate purposes, Meyers said, including host of several hundred reality show contests and “professional T-shirt stretcher” Simon Cowell, but most of the time rich people use shell companies to avoid paying taxes in their home countries.

Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmunder David Gunnlaugssen was caught off guard when confronted about a shell company where he kept assets, first hesitating and then walking out of the interview.

“Maybe it’s a different Sigmunder David Gunnlaugssen?” Meyers asked sarcastically, doing an impression of the Prime Minister. Gunnlaugssen was forced to resign amid massive protests in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik. If the differences between the US’s and Iceland’s handling of the 2008 financial collapse are any indication, I highly doubt any American politicians implicated in the scandal will lose their jobs.

Watch the whole clip below.

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