The Panama Papers Shake the Global Financial World


By Adam Hurwitz

An unprecedented leak of over 11.5 million documents linking many world leaders to offshore companies used to avoid taxes in their home country has shaken the global financial world. The lasting effect of these “Panama Papers” remains to be seen, but many countries are using this leak to tighten up regulations on those who would use these offshore accounts to dodge taxes. Recently, British Finance Minister George Osborne has said Europe’s five richest countries agreed to work together to deliver “a hammer blow against those that would illegally evade taxes and hide their wealth in the dark corners of the financial system.” The recent ouster of Iceland’s prime minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson and pressure against British Prime Minister David Cameron after being implicated in the papers suggests these leaks will warrant an international response. Some action has already been taken  France put Panama on its blacklist of tax havens and the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development (OECD) convened an emergency meeting in Paris to push new global anti-tax-evasion rules. These papers have caused a stir in the global financial scene and more is sure to come.