Satan (impatiently) to Newcomer: The trouble with you Chicago people is, that you think you are the best people down here; whereas you are merely the most numerous.
- Mark Twain in “Pudd’nhead Wilson’s NewÂ Calendar”
Â Couldn’t swing a cat yesterday without encountering another story about the enlightened (now indicted) governor of Illinois, calling to mind the general state of graft in, well, the state of Lincoln.Â Headlining that entourage is the city of big shoulders, Chicago, where one happy celebrant at a Daley victory party was quoted as saying the city wasn’t ready for reform.
Comes a challenger to that paragon of graft, greed and criminality – and it is Russia itself:
Russian companies are believed to be the most likely to engage in bribery when doing business abroad, according to Transparency International’s 2008 Bribe Payers Index (BPI) published yesterday.
The 2008 BPI ranks 22 of the world’s wealthiest and economically dominant countries by the likelihood of their firms to bribe abroad. It is based on the observations of 2,742 senior business executives from companies in 26 developed and developing countries, selected on the size of their imports and inflows of foreign direct investment.
According to it, Russia is far ahead of the richest Western countries as well as its BRIC colleagues – Brazil (ranks 17th), India (19th) and China (21st) – in this respect.
Kirill Kabanov, board member of Transparency International Russia, said: “The West tends to see Russia as an extremely corrupt state with corrupt business, largely because the top Russian officials say corruption permeates everything in this country.”
He said most Russian companies are not transparent. “This concerns both major exporters and state-controlled companies,” Kabanov said. “For example, a large oil company has recently spent a huge sum allegedly on charity, but nobody, not even its majority shareholders, has been able to establish where the money actually went.”
Maybe Chicago and Moscow can work on that sister city program, what with common interests it seems…
Look at our Lords disciples. One denied Him; one doubted Him; one betrayed Him. If our Lord couldn’t have perfection, how are you going to have it in city government? - Richard J Daley