Offshore secrecy torn apart by Instagram

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I recommend an article in the Observer today. It begins:

From selfies on super-yachts to posing with private jets, the young heirs of the uber-wealthy have attracted worldwide envy and derision by flaunting their lavish lifestyles on social media.

But these self-styled rich kids of Instagram are, often unwittingly, revealing their parents’ hidden assets and covert business dealings, providing evidence for investigators to freeze or seize assets worth tens of millions of pounds, and for criminals to defraud their families.

For years we have heard how the wealthy need anonymity to protect themselves from risk. But now their offspring are blowing it apart. Although, as I have always pointed out, unless the super wealthy were willing to live in modest houses in out of the way places and drive Ford Escorts with untinted windows they really never were very hard to identify. Conspicuous consumption has always outed most them. But what that means in combination is that the secrecy always had just one aim, which was cheating those who had a right to know about what they were doing in the entities that they controlled. It's ironic that it's Instagram that's tearing it apart.