Friday, December 30, 2016


As more details about the composition of the Committee of Experts, appointed by the Government of Panama, to report upon, and recommend, reform, in light of the Panama Papers scandal,  it becomes clear that the Panamanian members were unqualified to sit on the Committee, due to Conflict of Interest. A number of the so-called Experts had either done business with the law firm of Mossack Fonseca, or were among its clients, or had other close relationships with MF that made objective review impossible.

To summarize the obvious conflicts:
(1) One Committee member was a director of a BVI company, set up by Mossack Fonseca.
(2) Another member had discussed a joint business relationship with the law firm, and has social and professional links.
(3) Yet another member is all over the Panama Papers, and wanted to become a lobbyist, paid by Mossack Fonseca.

Remember, the two non-Panamanian members of the Committee, resigned, after they learned that the findings were to be given to the Panamanian Government, before public release, which would give Government publicists time to spin a response, and most ominously, the Committee's report was not to be made public until the Government of Panama gave its permission, meaning that a sizable delay might occur.

The report, which only recommended minor changes, and avoided the radical transparency necessary to implement true reform, including eliminating the bearer share law entirely, was a whitewash. No wonder that new incorporations are way down in Panama; the jurisdiction has given a bad taste to the offshore industry, as to legitimate international businesses. Will Panama ever clean up its act ? Until it does, avoid it, if you wish to reduce risk.

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