Regulatory Mayhem in Offshore Finance: What the Panama Papers Reveal

  • Anil HiraEmail author
  • Brian Murata
  • Shea Monson
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


This chapter discusses the worrying increase in offshore financial flows resulting in tax evasion in the global economy. We demonstrate that offshore financial tax evasion is nothing new; it has been tolerated for decades, and its increasing scope portends a role in future crashes. The Panama and Paradise Papers reveal how individuals, multinational firms, terrorists, and criminals increasingly use offshore financial centres to hide wealth and evade taxes. While the various government and international entities have devoted considerable attention to the issue, reform efforts fail to address the fundamental drivers of offshore finance: a lack of transparency, information sharing, and tax competition. The failure of governments to work together has important implications, including creating a disproportionate burden on individual taxpayers, exacerbating inequality, raising questions of fairness, constraints on fiscal policy, and increasing resort to debt by governments. Our suggestions for reform focus on ways towards consensus, transparency, coordination, and enforcement in global financial regulation around taxation.


Offshore finance Panama Papers Tax evasion Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Multinational corporations Transfer pricing Trusts OECD Paradise Papers Base erosion Money laundering Tax havens Shell corporations Corruption Tax reporting Tax reciprocity Tax reporting hawala 



Norbert Gaillard, Patty Hira, James Busumtwi-Sam, Ted Cohn, Michael Webb


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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