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Country Report Puerto Rico

  • ID: 2138738
  • April 2016
  • Region: Puerto Rico
  • 17 Pages
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit
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Papers seen by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a US-based non-profit organisation, have revealed alleged financial impropriety involving public figures from a large number of countries. There will be significant political fallout from these revelations, with more information expected to be revealed shortly from the leak at the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca.

It will take some time before the full implications are clear; more than 11m documents from Mossack Fonseca's database have been leaked. In many cases, the information revealed may not show that leaders have broken laws. But the revelations of wealth accrued while in public office, and the hypocrisy of storing this offshore in order to avoid domestic taxes, will put pressure on politicians named in the leak. The Economist Intelligence Unit expects six main areas of impact from the information that has been released so far. These are set out below.

Overall, we expect the political impact on flawed democracies, hybrid regimes and weak states to be more substantive than that in either full democracies or authoritarian regimes linked to the allegations. For those governments that are already facing significant political challenges, the allegations have the potential to be serious. For others, they are likely to be manageable; indeed, we expect most of the impacts of the leaks to be indirect. The potential impacts are as follows:

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Country Report Puerto Rico

Panama Papers: Impacts will be widespread, but uneven
i) Some leaders might be forced from office
ii) Political risks will increase in a number of fragile economies
iii) Government legitimacy may be undermined in key emerging markets
iv) Another source of volatility in the Brexit debate
v) Political populists and non-traditional parties are well placed to benefit
vi) Pressure on offshore centres is likely to increase
Authoritarian governments better placed to respond

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