Jake Bernstein is a two-time Pulitzer prize-winning journalist. In his 25-year career, he’s covered the secret world of offshore money, financial engineering on Wall Street, political corruption in Miami, industrial pollution in Texas and civil war in Central America.
His most recent book, Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite, will be published by Henry Holt & Co. on November 21, 2017. The book details the evolution of the offshore world as seen through the files of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca and explores the efforts by journalists and others to break through the secrecy of anonymous financial structures. It has been optioned to be made into a major motion picture by filmmakers Steven Soderbergh, Michael Sugar, Scott Z. Burns, and Lawrence Grey.
Bernstein first became involved with the Pulitzer Prize-winning Panama Papers investigation while working as a senior reporter for The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). ICIJ’s 2017 Pulitzer for Explanatory Reporting was the second for Bernstein. In 2011, while at ProPublica, Bernstein and a colleague won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for a series of stories on Wall Street in the lead up to the financial crisis. Bernstein’s work was also featured in Columbia University’s collection of the Best Business Writing in both 2012 and in 2013.
Bernstein, who is fluent in Spanish, began his journalism career in Latin America, as the region marked the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival. He served as a staff writer for the Pasadena [Texas] Citizen and then for the Miami New Times where he covered the fight over Elián González and the 2000 presidential recount, among other stories. Bernstein worked as a reporter-editor at The Texas Observer, an investigative biweekly based in Austin for two years, and as its executive editor from 2004 to 2008. During his tenure at the Observer, Bernstein corralled stories on government surveillance, Tom DeLay’s money-laundering legislative takeover and Texas’ demographic shift. Under his leadership, Utne Reader named The Texas Observer, Best Political Magazine of 2005.
His work has been published in The Washington Post, Bloomberg, Mother Jones, and The Guardian among others. His numerous guest appearances include the BBC, NBC, CNN, CNBC, PBS, Bloomberg and NPR. He has also collaborated on several programs with This American Life.
In addition to Secrecy World, Bernstein is co-author of Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency (Random House, 2006).
He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Eve. In addition to journalism, he is a civil war buff, dilatory yoga practitioner, aspiring grill master and adventure travel junkie.