Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Report: U.S. Moving Up the Ladder Amongst Corrupt Nations

As I listed in this piece earlier in the month [Oct 9, 2010: [Video] Should the U.S. be Classified as an Emerging Market for Investment Purposes?] the United States has increasingly taken on characteristics we normally associate with backwater, corrupt, "developing countries".  Part of the list:

  1. Out of control debts
  2. Crony capitalism socialism whatever-ism
  3. Decision making at the government level dominates all facts of economy & markets
  4. Dysfunctional government
  5. Growing chasm between rich and poor
  6. Dysfunctional financing - a Treasury which issues debt, and a central bank which buys it

According to this report by Transparency International, the U.S. has now dropped out of the top 20 globally of least corrupt nations as our crony corporate socialistic (socialism for the biggest campaign contributors) state dominated by a thin oligarchy / political class overwhelms "the people".  On the positive side - we are still well ahead of Somalia.  But we now trail Barbados.  But please don't look over there at those fancy reports... look over here at the stock market, which now only goes up (did you enjoy the POMO this morning?) - signaling all is well in Cramerica.

  • The United States has dropped out of the "top 20" in a global league table of least corrupt nations, tarnished by financial scandals and the influence of money in politics, Transparency International said on Tuesday.
  • Somalia was judged the most corrupt country, followed by Myanmar and Afghanistan at joint second-worst and then by Iraq, in the Berlin-based watchdog TI's annual corruption perceptions index (CPI).
  • The United States fell to 22nd from 19th last year, with its CPI score dropping to 7.1 from 7.5 in the 178-nation index, which is based on independent surveys on corruption.
  • This was the lowest score awarded to the United States in the index's 15-year history and also the first time it had fallen out of the top 20.
  • In the Americas, this put the United States behind Canada in sixth place, Barbados at 17th and Chile in 21st place.
  • Jointly heading the index -- in which a score of 10 indicates a country with the highest standards, and 0 as highly corrupt -- were Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore with 9.3. They were also at the top of the table last year.
  • Somalia scored 1.1. The watchdog group said its table was based on "different assessments and business opinion surveys carried out by independent and reputable institutions."
  • Various financial scandals at state and city level had encouraged the impression that the regulatory oversight was weak and that influence could be bought, she added.  (all regulation is evil and reduces profit... ask those folks in Hungary who "enjoy" red toxic sludge running through their town - just part of the 'free market'.)
  • Nancy Boswell, president of TI in the United States, said lending practices in the subprime crisis, the disclosure of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme and rows over political funding had all rattled public faith about prevailing ethics in America.  "We're not talking about corruption in the sense of breaking the law," she said. "We're talking about a sense that the system is corrupted by these practices. There's an integrity deficit."

Amen sister.  I look forward to next week when we will turn the power from one side of the 2 headed monster, to the other and a "new morning" will be upon our great nation.  And then in 4 years when we see those folks do the 'same old', we'll turn it back to the other head.  (another "new morning")  And then in 8 years.... well, let's just say a lot of new mornings await us as we watch NFL and Dancing with the Stars (circus and bread for the plebs!) and are systematically looted by Reverse Robin Hood.  (take from the many to give to the few) 

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