The topic of discussion for this Freedom Friday concerns the Panama Papers and the effects of the dealings revealed in them. The Panama Papers are “leaked confidential documents from a law firm in Panama,” and they “exposed how some of the world’s most powerful people were said to have used offshore bank accounts to conceal their wealth or avoid taxes.”
The people named in the leak may or may not have broken any laws, but the leaks are already causing problems for them. According to Liam Stack, the following actions have taken place:
. “Relatives of President Xi Jinping of China and two other members of the Communist Party’s most powerful body were linked to offshore companies incorporated by the Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca.
. “On Wednesday, the Swiss authorities raided the headquarters of the Union of European Football Associations.
. “The prime minister of Iceland, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, stepped aside on Tuesday.
. “Gonzalo Delaveau Swett, the president of Transparency Chile, a branch of a global anti-corruption group, stepped down on Monday.”
James M. Roberts of The Heritage Foundation looked at the Panama Papers in a slightly different way.
“As The Atlantic has reported, `[d]isclosures from the Panama Papers are rocking the global political elite.’ Although not all of the activities alleged in the papers may ultimately be determined to be unethical or illegal, it is instructive to look at the connections between many of the people named in the papers and the scores of their countries of origin on The Heritage Foundation’s `Index of Economic Freedom’ corruption indicator.”
Mr. Roberts then proceeds to name Pakistan, Russia, and Ukraine and how those nations rate on “freedom from corruption” on The Heritage Foundation’s “Index of Economic Freedom.” Maybe nations would have more economic freedom if they had more honest leaders. What do you think?