Impact of Panama Papers depends on type of government

Warren Buffett is known for his pithy sayings and homespun investment philosophy. One Buffettism states that “it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five seconds to destroy it.”

This is as true in business as it is in government. It requires less time to take down institutions and destroy public trust than it does to develop and strengthen them.

 Russian President Vladimir Putin argues the Panama Papers are a foreign conspiracy aimed at toppling him and weakening Russia. Mikhail Klimentyev The Associated Press

Russian President Vladimir Putin argues the Panama Papers are a foreign conspiracy aimed at toppling him and weakening Russia. Mikhail Klimentyev The Associated Press

Enter Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian legal firm specializing in hiding offshore assets. Revelations regarding the firm’s clients and capital flows are the latest salvo on government credibility and citizen credulity.

The recently leaked 11.5 million-document dump known as the Panama Papers – a load of Mossack Fonseca’s private internal documents – is roiling the waters for a handful of leaders who wanted or needed to cache their cash.

One minute a prime minister is a respected leader, then next he is judged a shady figure in the court of public opinion.  Read more.