Stiglitz quits Panama Papers clean-up committee

Panama created the seven-member expert committee to recommend reforms headed by Stiglitz


Afp August 06, 2016
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz attends a session at the World Economic Forum. PHOTO: REUTERS

PANAMA CITY: Nobel prize-winning US economist Joseph Stiglitz has resigned from a committee of international experts named to help reform Panama's financial services sector after the Panama Papers scandal, the government said Friday.

Stiglitz and respected Swiss criminal law professor Mark Pieth quit the committee over "internal differences," said a statement from the Panamanian government, without giving further detail.

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The Panama Papers scandal erupted in April, when media outlets around the world published details on dodgy offshore financial dealings gleaned from millions of leaked documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

The leaks put a host of high-profile politicians, celebrities and sports stars in the hot seat over their assets in tax havens.

Scrambling to clean up its image in the wake of the scandal, Panama created the seven-member expert committee to recommend reforms.

It was headed by Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University in New York who won the Nobel Prize in 2001.

The committee had submitted a preliminary report in July.

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The government thanked Stiglitz and Pieth for their service and recommendations.

It said it remained committed to "transparency and international cooperation" to fight money laundering and tax evasion.

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