A COMMITTEE set up by the government in the in the wake of the scandal surrounding the leak of documents of law firm Mossack Fonseca had a “secret agenda” says Nobel Economics Laureate Joseph Stiglitz.
Stiglitz sat on a Panama committee rapidly convened by the government, when the Panama Papers were first published but resigned along with renowned Swiss law professor Mark Pieth over a transparency and the way the committee was set to report.
He said the government refused to meet his demand that the report be immediately released to the public instead of being reviewed first by the government.
He said in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine that Panama is avoiding making changes.
"It gradually became clear that the government, with the assistance of some Panamanian members of the committee, had another purpose instead of reforming the financial system in a transparent manner.
“What they really wanted was to obtain the positive glow of a public announcement while they avoided making real change," said Stiglitz.
The American economist said there was a "conspiracy" between the Panamanian members of the committee and the government.
"There was a secret agenda," he said.
Stiglitz also noted that Panama had already made the regulatory changes required by international agencies to address issues within its financial industry, but he claimed that the problem is not in passing the laws, but in making sure they are followed.