Stiglitz resigns

Reuters “Stiglitz resigns from Panama Papers commission”

パナマ文書*1のリークを受けて、パナマ政府が自らの金融制度の不透明性に対する調査委員会を設置していたことは今まで知らなかった。その調査委員会のメンバーである経済学者のジョセフ・スティグリッツ*2と政治腐敗の専門家Mark Pieth*3が、パナマ政府のコミットメントの低さに不満を抱き、辞任した。特に、パナマ政府は委員会の調査の結果がどんなものであってもその報告を公刊することを保証しなかった。

“I thought the government was more committed, but obviously they’re not,” Stiglitz said. “It’s amazing how they tried to undermine us.”

The Panamanian government defended the committee’s “autonomous” management in a statement, and while it said it regretted the resignations of Stiglitz and Pieth, it chalked them up to unspecified “internal differences.”

In its first full meeting of the investigative committee in New York on 4 and 5 June, the members agreed that the government of Panama needed to commit to making the final report public, whatever its findings, Stiglitz and Pieth said.

But they said last week they received a government letter that drew back from its commitment to making the findings public.

“We can only infer that the government is facing pressure from those who are making profits from the current non-transparent financial system in Panama,” Stiglitz said.

“I have had a close look at the so called Panama Papers and I must admit that, even as an expert on economic and organised crime, I was amazed to see so much of what we talk about in theory was confirmed in practice,” Pieth said.

In the paper he said he found evidence of crimes such as money laundering for child prostitution rings.

Stiglitz said the remaining five members of the committee may stop work on the probe as well, and that it is now up to the international community to pressure Panama to improve transparency.

“We’re being asked to do this as a courtesy for them and we’re paraded in front of the world media first,” said Pieth, a criminal law professor at Basel University. “Then we’re told to shut up when they don’t like it.”