Country Rankings - Panama
Nov 29, 2012 Panama: blessed by the IMFThis column hasn't got much time for the IMF, which seems to spend most of its life telling governments to increase taxes, but just for once I have to agree with its glowing report on Panama, although why does the IMF carp about Panama's open-ness to other economies? The opposite of open-ness is protectionism, don't they realize? At all events, Panama seems to be getting everything right nowadays. You may say that it has the immense advantage of the canal, economically, and that's true, but it could so easily have gone the other way: twenty years ago or so Panama had the biggest collection of crooked banks to be found anywhere, had a booming drugs trade, and a President who ended up in American and French gaols. Noriega is back in Panama now, on parole from France, but must be tailed by more minders than anyone else on the planet. Panama has the US to thank for its good fortune, probably, but has run a tight ship in recent years and maintains a reasonable balance between respectability and low taxes. Two stars!