They are only called Panama hats because back in the 1800s Ecuadorians sold them there to businessmen and workers on the Panama Canal.
The area is busy as Panama is the narrowest point of land separating the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans making it an extremely important waterway, and when US President Theodore Roosevelt wore one on a visit to the canal in 1906 they went what would have been the equivalent to what ‘viral’ is today – in a purely physical sense obviously.
Panama is certainly viral at the moment after it turns out the rich, famous and well-to-do are a bunch of tax-dodging, dirty rotten scoundrels – who’d have thunk it? – thanks to the leaking of the explosive Panama Papers.
They have literally blown the lengths those with a few bob will go to keep their greedy little mitts on their mountains of mullah that wide open it stretches right across the globe.
From Prime Minister David Cameron’s father and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s chum to Syrian President Assad’s cousin and the HSBC bank – the papers give a frightening account of how our world really works.
They have all been named in papers from Panamanian offshore firm Mossack Fonseca (who deny any wrongdoing by the way) that show how rich folks have been hiding their money so they don’t have to pay tax on it.
It’s great these files have been leaked but one of the first questions I asked was how this information got out – was it a leak or did someone hack their files?
It was obviously something someone didn’t want to keep under their Panama hat.