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TERRY GROSS, HOST:
This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. Before Donald Trump was elected president, some of his business partners on Trump-branded hotels and condos and the Miss Universe pageant were oligarchs from Russia and former Soviet bloc countries who kept a lot of their money hidden in the secret world of shell companies. Those business partnerships are the subject of the final chapter of my guest, Jake Bernstein’s new book, “Secrecy World.”
The book is about illicit money networks and the global elite. A lot of the book is based on the Panama Papers, the 11.5 million documents leaked to journalists from a law firm in Panama that created shell companies in which large corporations and wealthy individuals from around the world parked their money out of the view of their governments and their governments’ tax