To many people, the Panama Papers and what they reveal about the use of off-shore tax havens by the wealthy constitutes yet another indictment of global capitalism. The piece linked below asks whether that really makes sense, or whether what it really points to is a lot of very localized political corruption. >>>
LINK: The Panama Papers Actually Reflect Pretty Well on Capitalism (by Megan McArdle for Bloomberg)
…What we’ve seen from the papers so far is not so much an indictment of global capitalism as an indictment of countries that have weak institutions and a lot of corruption. And for all the outrage in the United States, so far the message for us is pretty reassuring: We aren’t one of those countries.
Consider the big names that have shown up so far on the list. With the notable exception of Iceland, these are not countries I would describe as “capitalist”: Russia, Pakistan, Iraq, Ukraine, Egypt. They’re countries where kleptocratic government officials amass money not through commerce, but through quasi-legal extortion, or siphoning off the till….
What do you think?