Global Risks Forecast™

Panama papers: Breadth of global tax avoidance gives jolt to political landscape

A leak of 11.5 million records from Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm specialising in establishing offshore accounts, has roiled the global political and economic elite and thrust the issue of global tax avoidance to the centre of public debate. Politicians, sports stars, filmmakers and wealthy businessmen have become embroiled in a scandal which shows no sign of abating as more stories are expected to emerge over the coming weeks and months with potentially damning consequences for those involved.

The revelations made by the International Consortium of Investigative journalists, a non-profit organisation working with reporters from several news outlets, contained details on over 210,000 offshore accounts connected to wealthy individuals in more than 200 countries. The most explosive feature of the data breach is that 140 politicians and public officials, including 12 current and former heads of governments have been implicated.

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