NEWS

Panama Papers: The Simpsons 'Predicted' Leak Of Offshore Data 20 Years Ago

Genius or just luck?

04/04/2016 11:17 | Updated 04 April 2016

Headlines around the world have been dominated by the leaked list of world leaders and influential political figures with tax-evading offshore accounts, as detailed in the 'Panama Papers'.

The explosive allegations concerning how the rich and powerful were able to use tax havens to shield their wealth was uncovered overnight. 

To many, the revelations have been shocking. But a Simpsons episode, written 20 years ago, has been dug up for containing humorous parallels to the leaked information. 

It comes from an episode called 'Bart the Fink' aired in 1996, when Bart Simpson exposes Krusty the Clown as a tax fraud. 

In one scene, a Cayman Islands bank manager is quizzed on Krusty's account held in the notorious tax haven. 

The Simpsons
Was this the face of a tax avoidance broker when the Panama Papers news broke today? 

In a humorous version of events similar to how the extent of tax avoidance may have been come to be known today, the bank manager responds: "I'm sorry, I can't disclose any information about that customer's secret, illegal account."

He puts the phone down before realising what he's said and rants : "Oh, crap. I shouldn't have said he was a customer... Oh, crap. I shouldn't have said it was a secret... Oh, crap! I certainly shouldn't have said it was illegal!"

Watch the video, above

People were quick to mock financial advisors who had hoped to hide details of their clients' tax avoidance accounts and draw parallels with the episode. 

But that's not the first time 'Simpsons' writers have predicted the future, though. 

In 1995 they speculated about the terrifying possibility of a President Donald Trump. 

(Some years in the future) U.S. Commander-In-Chief Lisa Simpsons tells her aides in the Oval Office: "As you know, we've inherited quite a budget crunch from President Trump..." 

H/t to @MatthewSMCox for spotting the Cayman Islands clip!

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