by Ted Bauman
The Sovereign Investor
The last two weeks have been an ordeal for those of us in the “offshore” world. I recently spoke to a Panamanian colleague who was nearly in tears of frustration at the wildly inaccurate messages flying around the world about her country as a result of the so-called “Panama Papers.” Indeed, the planet seems to have jumped to patently false conclusions based on shockingly bad reporting.
Consider, for example, that most of the “shell” companies in the documents leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca have nothing to do with Panama. Mossack Fonseca has branches and franchisees in dozens of countries. Most of these companies were set up in non-Panamanian jurisdictions — mainly British overseas territories like the Cayman Islands — by non-Panamanian attorneys under non-Panamanian law.