The Panama papers are all about the ‘Resource Curse’

Today’s Spain’s Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism José Manuel Soria has stepped down “after his conflicting explanations inflamed a scandal over links to an offshore company listed in the Panama leaks.” (quoted from Bloomberg)

Note something interesting about this – a lot of the politicians/policy makers involved in the Panama leaks are in someway related to the energy and commodity sectors and I am pretty sure that if you ranked the countries most tainted by this it would all be commodity exporting countries.

Take for example these names – who all are on the list of names in the Panama Papers:

Angola: José Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos, Minister of Petroleum

Venezuela: Jesús Villanueva, former Director of PDVSA (the State owned oil and gas company)

Algeria: Abdeslam Bouchouareb, Minister of Industry and Mines

…and of course Soria who was among other things was minister of….ENERGY.

This to a very large extent illustrates the problem of corruption and cronyism that is often related to rent-seeking in commodity producing countries.

Said in another way the Panama leaks are to a very large extent an illustration of the so-called Resource Curse and unlike what most of the European media have been focusing on about “tax shelters”.

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