US Opinion and Commentary

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Showing Archived Posts

It’s Up to Governments to Stop Enabling Corruption

Posted May 16th, 2016 at 11:15 am (UTC-4)
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Graft may always be with us, but governments can choose either to tolerate and even assist it, or to confront it vigorously. One of the simplest and best ways to fight back is through sharing information. Letting the fruits of bribery, embezzlement and tax evasion be hidden away enables the crime.

Don’t Blame Panama. Tax Evasion Is a Global Problem

Posted April 11th, 2016 at 10:27 am (UTC-4)
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Panama does not deserve to be singled out on an issue that plagues many countries. But we are willing to accept the responsibility for fixing it, in part because greater transparency is ultimately a continuation of reforms we have recently undertaken. The world must tackle this problem…and Panama stands ready to lead the way.

‘Panama Papers’ Blockbusters Make Waves Abroad, but Secret Money Is a U.S. Problem too

Posted April 6th, 2016 at 3:20 pm (UTC-4)
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Nevada, Wyoming and South Dakota have all passed laws making it easier to set up shell companies — and harder to identify the real owners. Bankers say that has actually prompted a flow of foreign assets from traditional tax havens such as Zurich and Bermuda to less elegant banking centers like Reno and Sioux Falls.

Putin Shrugs off Panama Papers

Posted April 6th, 2016 at 12:28 pm (UTC-4)
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By Barbara Slavin The massive leak of documents from a Panamanian law firm that specialized in setting up offshore tax shelters has rattled world political leaders and claimed at least one victim. Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson was forced to step aside following a public uproar over an offshore company he created just before his country’s […]

Following the Money from ‘Panama’

Posted April 5th, 2016 at 4:32 pm (UTC-4)
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Tax shelters. Money laundering. Dodging sanctions. Shell companies. Tax havens. These are the loaded phrases associated with the findings of the so-called Panama Papers — documents that were leaked from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca detailing how the rich and powerful park their assets to avoid scrutiny. Among those named in the year-long probe of millions of documents by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists: 12 current or former heads of state, including Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, who resigned today amid questions of a conflict of interest regarding his holdings. The documents also indicate $2-billion in transactions were secretly shuffled through banks and shadow companies by associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putting money in offshore banks is not necessarily illegal. And there are many legal tax shelters and legitimate reasons to establish a holding company in another country. But ordinary citizens become outraged when their politicians and their close associates are the ones involved.

Cleaning Up the World: End Dirty Money

Posted April 4th, 2016 at 10:51 am (UTC-4)
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The only people who use holding companies that make true ownership a secret are people who have something to hide. It is not a stretch to say that they may well be acting against the public interest.