The Paradise Papers poem features in Passageways by Philip Resnick.
University of British Columbia professor Philip Resnick

THE 1 PERCENT

A poem about the Paradise Papers

Now for something a bit different… in celebration of it being one year since we released the Paradise Papers.

It’s not every day a poem is written about a global investigation. So when we learned that University of British Columbia professor Philip Resnick had penned one about the Paradise Papers, we had to get a copy.

Professor Resnick told ICIJ he writes a number of political poems.

“This one spoke to the shared concern I have with your journalists regarding the rampant inequality and tax evasion that characterizes the global system.”

However, the professor said he feared his “bleak evaluation” had been borne out with the top 1 to 5 percent continuing to “rule the roost.”

“Countries like the United States have gone even further down the road of inequality,” he said, noting the “hefty tax cuts voted this past year.”

“Still, it is important to keep sounding the alarm about fiscal paradises and tax evasion and publicize some of the more egregious examples that can be uncovered.”

The Paradise Papers

“Not Caeser now, but money, is all.”

— Alain de Lille, 12th-century monk

So the Fourth Estate has come to our rescue,
telling truths about power
That the powerful only whisper to themselves.
Will it change an iota
now that we know the feints and subterfuges
by which fortunes can escape
the gatekeepers meant to keep
the ship of state afloat 
where rock stars rub shoulders with royals,
political fundraisers with CEOs,
in the game of tax evasion and high finance?
Age-old suspicions will be confirmed,
a few indignant voices will be stirred,
as the masters of the universe carry on undeterred
in worshipping the deity that reigns on earth.