Although we are steadily becoming less corrupt in the advanced world — due mainly to the increasing power of investigative media — it will be with us for a very long time to come, no doubt, because it can be disguised by increasingly sophisticated methods which will take longer to expose.
In the less advanced countries, corruption is somewhat more physical, involving the personal handling of cash. Here, for example, is what went on in Argentina, according to Bloomberg:
“Jose Lopez, who served as public works secretary under ex-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her late husband, Nestor Kirchner . . . was arrested after he was caught burying . . . six . . . bags containing millions of dollars, euros, Japanese yen and Qatari riyal.”
Politicians and civil servants in the West can be corrupted more subtly by promises of consultancies or directorships after they’ve retired. These are “Honour among thieves” situations. But in the cases where the personnel are inappropriate then corrupt individuals can start charities whose activities can be dissembled. Rumour has that these are the main vehicles that Bill Clinton and Tony Blair use as they very quickly became rich far beyond anything that their pensions could give them.
I ponder about Hillary Clinton. She is said to have amassed a fortune already by means of lectures. Were those lectures actually given? Journalists have been asking about her two most recent ones, said to have earned her $500,000 each, one apparently to J.P.Morgan bank. Now that the lectures have been given, can they see the texts? Request denied.