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Global Energy Advisory 8th April 2016

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

• The publication of the Panama Papers sent shockwaves around the world, implicating heads of state, the global financial elite, celebrities, and even sports stars. The volume of documents leaked to investigative journalists exceeded both the WikiLeaks documents and the Snowden files. The documents center around a law firm in Panama that helped the global elite setup shell companies to avoid paying taxes. It has already claimed its first victim – the Prime Minister of Iceland stepped down after the revelations. But the Panama Papers also show the efforts of petro states in trying to hide wealth. The Saudi King, for instance, has assets in shell companies, which he used to purchase real estate. Other leaders, such as the former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, the former Sudanese President Ahamad Ali al-Mirghani, and former Prime Minster of Qatar Hamad bin Jassim a-Thani, all had shell companies setup for their personal gain. Shell companies were used to embezzle cash from Petrobras. Other top officials from
Nigeria, Angola, Congo, Venezuela, just to name a few, have been tied to the Panama Papers. China is censoring websites and removing content related to the release. Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose inner circle was also named in the papers, says the publication was intended to weaken Russia. There are too many cases to provide a full account, but the full fallout from this massive data release has yet to…

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