A new study has discovered that “large multinational corporations” are responsible for most of the bribes that occur on a global scale, reported Common Dreams.
The study was released yesterday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which consists of 34 of the world’s most economically developed nations. By studying 427 bribery offenses spanning a history of 15 years, the OECD found that 57 percent of all bribes involved companies’ efforts to obtain public contracts. This occurs mostly in western, “more developed states,” like the United States.
“The true social cost of corruption cannot be measured by the amount of bribes paid or even the amount of state property stolen,” stated the report. “Rather, it is the loss of output due to the misallocation of resources, distortions of incentives and other inefficiencies caused by corruption that represent its real cost to society.”
On average, bribe amounts are 10.9 percent of the total transaction, about $14 million for each of the examined cases, and rather than low-level company employees, like one might think, it’s senior- and management-level employees or CEOs who are orchestrating these bribery deals.
Four industries are responsible for two-thirds of all bribery cases: fossil fuels and mining, construction, transportation and storage, and communications. However, companies have realized a loophole to legal bribe political groups and candidates for public contracts.
Energy giant Chevron has been exploiting a loophole in campaign finance law that allows the company, indirectly, to donate to Republican super PACs. The loophole has allowed Chevron to create its own subsidiary that can legally donate company money to candidates and super-PACs, provided that subsidiary isn’t the section that will actually receive a government contract.
How is it that companies continue to buy their way into more profits? The answer is simple. They’ve created an endless money cycle that goes from them, to lawmakers and attorneys that get laws like Citizens United approved, which allows companies to give money to candidates who will make sure the companies get contracts.
As long as the money keeps flowing from CEOs to politicians, company profits and the corporate stranglehold on American government will continue.