• Steve H. Hanke
    05/04/2016 - 08:00
    Authored by Steve H. Hanke of The Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke. A few weeks ago, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) sprang a surprise. It announced that a...

USA Seen More Corrupt Than UK, Japan, And Barbados

Tyler Durden's picture


Looking at Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index 2012, it's clear that corruption is a major threat facing humanity. Corruption destroys lives and communities, and undermines countries and institutions. It generates popular anger that threatens to further destabilise societies and exacerbate violent conflicts - and as is clear from the chart below, the red (more corrupt perceptions) are creeping across Europe. The Corruption Perceptions Index scores countries on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). While no country has a perfect score, two-thirds of countries score below 50, indicating a serious corruption problem in the world. The US ranks 19th - perceived as more corrupt than the UK, Japan, Barbados, and Hong Kong (but less corrupt that France). In Transparency's words: "Corruption amounts to a dirty tax, and the poor and most vulnerable are its primary victims."



Corruption translates into human suffering, with poor families being extorted for bribes to see doctors or to get access to clean drinking water. It leads to failure in the delivery of basic services like education or healthcare. It derails the building of essential infrastructure, as corrupt leaders skim funds.

After a year with a global focus on corruption, we expected more governments to take a tougher stance against the abuse of power. The Corruption Perceptions Index results demonstrate that there are still many societies and governments that need to give a much higher priority to this issue.

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Wed, 12/05/2012 - 10:46 | 3035428 spastic_colon
spastic_colon's picture

just shocked!  Shocked I tell you! Shocked we're not higher on the list.

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 10:48 | 3035444 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

we can change that for a 50 note and a cheeseburger...


Wed, 12/05/2012 - 11:15 | 3035585 Enslavethechild...
EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

The U.S. and Germany should be blinking neon lights on that map

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 13:34 | 3036215 old naughty
old naughty's picture

UK and Japan, we top that.

But the other one, not so much.

Did we eat too many bananas?

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 10:49 | 3035459 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



I'm headed to Barbados. At least it's warm there.

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 10:52 | 3035476 Unprepared
Unprepared's picture

I thought Barbados was a Pokemon monster.

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 10:58 | 3035499 Gordon Freeman
Gordon Freeman's picture


Wed, 12/05/2012 - 11:07 | 3035546 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

I am shocked the US actually ranked as a high as it did, although there is a vexing correlation between sponsorship & ranking generally - and not just for the questionable US sponsors- USAID, Soros, Gates, et al.


Wed, 12/05/2012 - 13:13 | 3036132 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

transparency is trying to do a good job, but they can only measure - and this badly - the corruption at grass-roots level, for small fishes, if you want

the little bribe to the doctor or the small functionary, stuff like that

if they would include in their calculations the sums paid for elections and expecting crony arrangements, then you know who would be number one


btw, does anybody remember the (short) discussion when Chinese cash was flowing into US elections, not long ago?

Thu, 12/06/2012 - 08:15 | 3038701 BorisTheBlade
BorisTheBlade's picture

It is righfully called Corruption Perception Index, those higher on the list may not necessarily do a good job battling corruption, but certainly are more successful managing perception about it, i.e. hiding where it cannot be seen. And while small corruption on everyday level is something that flies you in the face, like bribes to traffic police or any government officials for that matter, corruption on higher level is so much easier to conceal and finally make almost legal that it will fly below radar of any research firm like it doesn't exist. And those who try and uncover this high level corruption are getting into real trouble, because they mess with some powerful interests and that's taboo. I'd say transparency is mainly successful at having selective vision and not looking where it normally should.

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 10:46 | 3035436 Mongo
Mongo's picture

The new normal is red

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 11:22 | 3035621 prains
prains's picture

Surprised they didn't partition out Quebec for a special mention in how to run a corrupt govt. It appears the mob is so deep into the throat there they can no longer speak the langauge correctly

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 13:46 | 3036278 mkhs
mkhs's picture

Ah? French?

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 10:47 | 3035441 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture





Wed, 12/05/2012 - 10:50 | 3035463 Unprepared
Unprepared's picture

Well, if that makes you feel any better amber mostly means "give it some time."

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 10:51 | 3035468 Eally Ucked
Eally Ucked's picture

That's the difference between perception and reality.

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 10:57 | 3035496 Motorhead
Motorhead's picture

I was surprised, too, just as I was about the USA.

Time for a Grimbergen.

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 10:48 | 3035453 EL INDIO
EL INDIO's picture

Just 19, It should be ranked below Zimbabwe

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 10:49 | 3035455 The Gooch
The Gooch's picture

"governments to take a tougher stance against the abuse of power"
That's rich.

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 11:02 | 3035516 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Just for saying that, we'll raise your taxes with 10%!!!


                         NSA guys

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 10:49 | 3035456 Jack Sheet
Jack Sheet's picture

For my birthday / buy me a politician / it's a shame..

Ice Cube


Wed, 12/05/2012 - 14:40 | 3036494 Aurora Ex Machina
Aurora Ex Machina's picture



That video was produced by Piers Pictures ("time travel, still images, a past, present and future and the aftermath of world war III. the tale of a man, a slave, sent back and forth, in and out of time, to find a solution to the world's fate. to replenish its decreasing stocks of food, medicine and energies, and in doing so, resulting in a perpetual memory of a lone female, life, death and past events that are recreated on an airports jetée." - which is a direct homage to Chris Marker), and it's owner/director, T.S. Pfeffer is a member of "The Directors Bureau". 

Take a look over their logo use, especially, here.


Hiding in plain sight, or merely ironic? Nice list of members, including Sophie Coppola, meaning they've some cultural impact either-which-way you think about it.

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 22:32 | 3037999 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture


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ironically hiding it seems...how meta2 of them...(yawn)


Wed, 12/05/2012 - 10:49 | 3035457 Unprepared
Unprepared's picture

If the study was adjusted to Legalized Corruption, the US would be a deep red country.

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 17:30 | 3037023 New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

Legalized corruption is the most destructive kind and also the hardest to nail down.  Maybe the proportional amount of bailouts and no-interest loans from the central bank would be a good proxy, or the amount spent on lobbying, or the fraction of lawyers, or the size of the federal register, or the fraction of top politicians previously employed by banks, law firms, or defense contractors.  America would be deep red by any of these measures.  Statists, and the sheeple whose "corruption perceptions" are measured, will whine "But how much of this is legitimate?"  Hint:  None.

Trying to bribe a judge in NZ is a bad idea, and this is reflected in the map.  Meanwhile, John Key is turning the NZ justice system into a collections goon squad for foreign corporate mafias and he is trying to sell off state assets with the help of Goldman Sachs.  I supposedly have to pay tribute to the architects' mafia if I want to move a toilet in my house.  All this is for my own good and is therefore perfectly legal.

"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" -Tacitus

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 10:49 | 3035458 Galactic Superwave
Galactic Superwave's picture

movin to New Zealand.....gonna raise up some sheep (sung to famous Zappa song)

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 10:51 | 3035469 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Good luck....they won't let you in at the airport and the place is surrounded by water.

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 11:10 | 3035562 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

The American continent is also surrounded by water.

Just saying...


Wed, 12/05/2012 - 13:49 | 3036295 mkhs
mkhs's picture

Yeah, but that doesn't stop the wetbacks from Quebec.

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 15:10 | 3036628 OpenThePodBayDoorHAL
OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

"raisin' it up....waxin it down....put it in a box, that I can sell uptown..."

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 10:51 | 3035475 mckee
mckee's picture

19th? Just goes to show how incompetent Transparency Intl's staff is.

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 10:52 | 3035481 Rainman
Rainman's picture

I'll be damned....USSA only 19th...now they're grading kleptocracy with a curve.

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 10:54 | 3035489 Inthemix96
Inthemix96's picture

Look on the bright side my American friends,

At least your government isn't (as I understand it) full of fucking peodophiles.

Could be worse???????

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 11:06 | 3035545 Coldsun
Coldsun's picture

I don't know about that. They sure are raping the children of today and tomorrow with their spending, wars, regulations, and policies in general.

And I'm sure it's only a matter of time until we find out about all the sick government folks looking at kiddie porn at work. Surely it's happening at the SEC as we speak.

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 13:51 | 3036304 mkhs
mkhs's picture

It only means they haven't prosecuted any yet.

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 11:00 | 3035507 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Did they include Bernanke in this study? Fuck You Ben

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 11:04 | 3035529 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

The U.S just has better distractions so the sheeple don't pay attention to the corruption.

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 11:09 | 3035557 Coldsun
Coldsun's picture

I wonder what would happen if they separated DC from the rest of the country?

One big bloody period stain.

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 11:21 | 3035615 cxl9
cxl9's picture

In general it looks like corruption decreases as you get further from the equator, with Russia being the big exception. Draw your own conclusions from that.

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 11:24 | 3035623 caimen garou
caimen garou's picture

corruption index, i have to send this to varney on fox b and see if they report on this or if they even know that it exist!

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 11:27 | 3035643 alfred b.
alfred b.'s picture


    So who drew the map....Goldman or JPM??

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 11:33 | 3035668 SubjectivObject
SubjectivObject's picture

USlessA's USlessA's USlessA's

Amerwrecka the Bootyful!

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 11:37 | 3035687 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

The problem is that our leaders didn't pay off Transparency International to get a higher rating.


Wed, 12/05/2012 - 11:47 | 3035739 Acet
Acet's picture

I'm surprised that both the UK and the US score as high as they do: both countries are very heavy on the "I'll cover your back today, you take care of me tomorrow" style of corruption at all levels of government, regulatory bodies and even justice.

Just remember the recent ZH article about how Generals go to work for defense contractors.

Here in the UK it's all about politicians retiring to cozy consultancy/board memberships at financial institutions, those working at regulators moving to the companies they previously regulated, judicial institutions being told not to investigate certain crimes in certain industries (for example, the Serious Fraud Office was ordered not to investigate fraud in big City financial institutions).

It might not be the cash in hand, highly visible corruption, but it has far, far bigger effects (high-level changing of regulations to help out certain large companies can in practice kill any and all small companies in a market) and there is a lot more money involved.

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 11:50 | 3035747 Svendblaaskaeg
Svendblaaskaeg's picture

Denmark number one! (dunno how much we payed for that research but worth every Dkr.)

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 11:58 | 3035780 Future Jim
Future Jim's picture

A country is corrupt to the extent that it fails to deliver education and health care to the poor?

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 12:20 | 3035877 Pairadimes
Pairadimes's picture

No way our corruptocracy is in the top 50. Apparently, this went to print before Maxine Waters became ranking Dem on the House Financial Services Committee, or maybe they would have taken a closer look.

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 12:27 | 3035904 Essential Nexus
Essential Nexus's picture

If the index looks at perceptions of corruption, it is a battle between the best countries and the most ignorant for top spots on the list, hence we rank 19.

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 13:28 | 3036194 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

This rating system is basically ridiculous, since it presumes that legalized corruption is not corruption.  This study is ONLY looking at the two bit, relatively trivial forms of corruption, which is formally still illegal. All of those combined are practically NOTHING compared to what has happened after the established systems become bad enough so that they legalize their corruption!

THE SYSTEM IS CORRUPTION! The fundamental basis of almost everything being done is the runaway triumph of past corruption taking control over the government. First and foremost is the legalization of private banks making fiat money out of nothing, as debts. That achievement by the banksters is the largest example of corruption on the planet! However, this kind of goofy study does not include that, because it is fully legalized corruption. An impartial overview would recognize that the USA is by far and away the MOST corrupt country!  Another example would be the perspective that government of the USA is the biggest terrorist organization in the world, but again, there is a magical wand waved at the definition of words, so that whatever the government of the USA does could not possibly be terrorism.

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