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Summary

Corrupt government officials and politicians in developing and transition countries are believed to solicit and receive bribes totalling $20-40 billion USD annually.1 Large private companies often make “facilitation payments” to politicians or government officials to expedite projects or policies; however, these payments help perpetuate government and bureaucratic corruption.2 Businesses and governments are too closely linked in many countries, resulting in conflicts of interest and derailing the efficacy of the democratic process.3 Business often have a disproportionate amount of influence on government policies, primarily through the abuse and overuse of corporate lobbying practices.4 Politically connected firms in Russia account for nearly 80% of market capitalization, and in the United Kingdom politically connected firms account for 40% of market capitalization— still a troublingly high percentage.5 Lobbying expenses in the United States amount to $200,000 per legislator, expenses which rise each year.6 In Brussels alone, 2,500 lobbying organizations comprised of over 15,000 lobbyists regularly influence European Union policies.7 Over 50% of OECD executives admitted using their personal and familial contacts to garner public contracts in non-OECD countries.8 According to Transparency International’s 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index, the countries with the highest levels of institutional corruption are Somalia, North Korea, Afghanistan, Sudan, South Sudan, Libya, and Iraq.9 The countries with the lowest levels of corruption are Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Singapore, and Switzerland.10 The countries most likely to engage in bribery when operating abroad include Russia, China, and Mexico. The countries least likely to engage in bribery abroad are Belgium, Canada, The Netherlands, and Switzerland.11 1 Transparency International Corruption Index 2-8 Ibid 9 http://www.transparency.org/cpi2013/results 10 Ibid 11 http://www.transparency.org/whatwedo/publication/global_corruption_report_2009

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