Panama made history in 1914 when the canal opened and changed the world. It took ten years to build and was the second attempt to shorten shipping routes.
In 2016, Panama is again making world changing history with the disclosure (some say leak) of documents that prove some high profile persons are hiding huge wealth there. No surprises here; that is what certain banks and firms are about. The world changing news is that this wealth was undeclared, unknown and almost certainly untaxed. Infact, it appears that the owners took great care that it was unknown, undetected and untraceable. Little wonder that the O’Hallaran’s of this world took refuge in Panama!
But what is the big deal? The big deal is that many of these persons have amassed wealth far beyond reasonable explanations and far beyond their normal salaries. Further, many of them had pledged, by virtue of their office, to declare all of their wealth as a condition of holding that office. We now know that they are strangers to the truth.
While there has been no disclosure of any national or citizen of the Federation in the revelations so far, we wouldn’t be surprised if some become revealed later. Such hiding of wealth dovetails neatly with the no-birth-place passports that had to be recently recalled, and even with the apparent huge expenditure around election time. It would be interesting to compare a list of no birthplace passport holders with re-issued passports to see if there are any differences.
The even bigger deal is that this money has remained hidden for so long. How was it possible to resist the regulatory measures that the G7 has been applying to our financial institutions (both local and international)? How is it possible that Panama hasn’t been blacklisted by the OECD. How come these depositors didn’t have to report their deposits to Uncle Sam? Clearly there is a double standard here. We are not convinced that the only purpose to this leak is mere disclosure; we believe there is more.
Maybe the whistle-blower became greedy. Maybe he found religion. Maybe he and the other law partners fell out. There are a million maybes. Whatever his reason, we thank him/her/them, and await the full revelation, the novel and the movie.
This is real Hollywood style intrigue.