Panama Scandal

Panama Scandal

 

a swindle involving abuses and corruption in the management of the Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interocéanique, formed in France in 1879 to organize the digging of the Panama Canal. More than 800,000 people acquired shares in the company. By 1888 more than twice as much money had been spent on the construction of the canal as had been planned, and only one-third of the work had been completed. The company halted work and terminated payments. Its failure bankrupted and ruined tens of thousands of small shareholders. A judicial examination of the affair between 1889 and 1893 revealed that the company, finding itself in financial difficulties, had bribed influential officials, politicians, and newspaper editors. The investigation of the Panama scandal by the authorities uncovered corruption deep within the bureaucracy of the Third Republic. The affair provoked a public outcry. However, almost all of the officials entangled in the scandal escaped punishment, and only the minor defendants were convicted. The term “Panama scandal” has come to denote large-scale fraud and swindles.

V. A. DUNAEVSKII

References in periodicals archive ?
Though successful in his career as an engineer and an architect, the late Eiffel who died in 1923 at age 91 was said to have also experienced getting himself into trouble with what is now known as the Panama Scandal.
The Panama Scandal, according to the (http://britannica.
These suspicions, aroused by the collapse of the Union Generale, seemed to be confirmed by the Panama Scandal of 1888.
The revelations about corruption in the Panama Scandal were disseminated by Drumont's anti-Semitic newspaper, La Libre Parole.
His reports made while the notorious Panama Scandal, involving politicians and even a few Jewish investors, was taking place were, as Haya Harel says, "penetrating.
Though only a small number of Jewish profiteers participated in France's Panama Scandal, all Jews were tainted and were therefore considered guilty as charged.