Jake Bernstein was a senior reporter for ICIJ in the 2016 Panama Papers investigation. He has published a book about the evolution of the offshore world and efforts to break through its secrecy as seen through the Panama Papers. Below is adapted from the book, Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite.
In May 2015, Michael Hudson, a senior editor at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, let me know that ICIJ had launched a project for which I might be a good fit. He couldn’t reveal the details on the phone. Instead, he encouraged me to travel to Washington, D.C to meet with Gerard Ryle and Marina Walker Guevara, ICIJ’s director and deputy director.
On the walk to lunch, Ryle told me about Prometheus, the codename for a massive data leak ICIJ was in the process of receiving. The material afforded