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(English) “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

by Alvaro Tomas

July 31, 2014

(Jesus Christ, The Sermon in the Mount)

I paraphrase Luke 6:-20-49 because either a miracle has happened or will happen whenever the Delaware Legislature passes legislation that will require beneficial owners of that state’s  corporations to be identified. It seems Senators Carl Levin (D) and Chuck Grassley (R) have seen the bipartisan burning bush (keeping up with the religious theme) on why countries such as ours, Panama, have been staunch critics of the United States in the matter of corporation transparency.

It seems the two illustrious United States senators have accepted that forcing sovereign countries to enact stronger and, sometimes, useless legislation to be able to identify the beneficial owner of a corporation is akin to casting the proverbial “first stone”  when you are full of “sins”. Asking Panama to pass all sorts of legislation under the guise of much needed “global transparency”, affecting our jurisdiction’s competiveness in the legal and financial services arena, is not only unjust but extremely hypocritical. The United States and its satellites: the United Kingdom, OCDE, GAFI, etc. are bullying other countries while their own corporations keep the beneficial owners anonymous.

This is what an article dated July 28th, 2014 in the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners newsletter states:

The White House has frequently been embarrassed in international negotiations by having its attention drawn to the company registration practices of its states, especially Delaware, which has achieved notoriety for the ease with which it allows anonymous persons to set up shell companies. (Nevada and Wyoming are the others.)

Panama is not embarrassed because we feel that the creation of corporations is a legitimate service and we have been one of the leading jurisdictions in the world since 1927. We have had the policies and mechanisms in place to identify the beneficial owners of the corporations for many years something that, obviously, the United States and more than 20 OCDE countries (that still allow bearer shares still) have not.

So we go on, praying that the United States and its cronies realize that this is a matter of competing in globalized economy on a level playing field.  That is to say, as Matthew might: not making others do what we would not like to be done to us.

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