Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

AMERICAN MEMBER OF FINANCIAL REFORM PANEL QUIT WHEN PANAMANIAN INTERFERENCE APPEARED


If you were wondering why the Nobel Prize-winning American economist, Joseph Stiglitz, abruptly and publicly quit the blue-ribbon panel that is preparing a report on financial reform measures need in Panama, you need look no further than the four Panamanian members of the panel. The final report, due out in September, was to be released to the public at that time, according to the initial mission of the panel.

The panel was assembled in the immediate wake of the Panama Papers scandal, basically for damage control on the part of the government, as the country's image was severely tarnished by the release of incriminating materials, and documents, detailing obvious tax evasion, money laundering, and corruption, on a global scale, facilitated from Panama.

The Panamanians on the panel, at this late stage, indicated that they wanted the report to go first to the Government of Panama, for evaluation." Precisely how long such an examination of the report would take was not stated, but, given that Panama has sat on the extradition of its corrupt former president for eight months, one could expect a similar delay. Stiglitz correctly saw that coming, and rightly called it as tantamount to censorship. When a government attempts, for no valid reason, to delay the release of
a plan of reform measures, you know it is not ready to clean up the problems.


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