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Corruption

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When finishing up yesterday's post I realized that Transparency International has finished releasing its final version of the Global Corruption Barometer. By far the most interesting indicator is the percentageof people who report paying a bribe in the past 12 months (more precisely, the percentage of households who paid a bribe when accessing basic services).... Read More
The World Bank Enterprise Surveys are an invaluable source of information on the business climate across both time and space. In particular, its section on corruption does for businesses what Transparency International's Global Corruption Barometer does for individuals - it directly asks them whether they are expected to give bribes to bureaucrats to reach understandings... Read More
While I was writing an article about Russian IQ for Sputnik and Pogrom the past few days, I noticed this amazing statistic from the 2010 Census. Percentage of the population with a postgrad degree: 1. Ingushetia: 1.59% 2. Moscow: 1.12% ... 90. Chechnya: 0.32% Ingushetia is Chechnya's quieter, lower T, slyer brother. They are part... Read More
I don't have much to add to my previous posts on this matter: The French Elections 2017 (Round One) Le Pen Is Out of Ink The French Blackpill, Quantified Stark Truth: On the French Elections Global Opinion of Marine Le Pen An n=8,200 Ipsos poll from May 5 gave Emmanual Macron 63% to Le Pen's... Read More
Ernst & Young regularly carries out large-scale surveys of corporate employees across a range of countries on issues such as ethics and corruption in the workplace. In the latest Global Fraud Survey (PDF), which took place at the end of 2016, 88% of Ukrainian employees thought that bribery and corrupt practices are widespread in business... Read More
In an infamous 2008 article, Alexander Dugin makes the distinction between "patriotic corruption" and "comprador corruption," or "Eurasian corruption" and "Atlanticist corruption." Here are the main features of "Eurasian" (patriotic) corruption: Doesn't damage Russia's national security; Concentrates the proceeds of corruption on Russian territory, or that of allied or strategically important countries; Doesn't put the... Read More
With a bit less than a year left to Russia's Presidential elections in 2018, the general contours of this cycle's protest movement against Putin are already coalescing. Alexey Navalny has called a march for tomorrow along Tverskaya Street, a central boulevard that leads to the Kremlin. The Moscow mayoralty refused to allow it, and Navalny... Read More
Why is corruption so bad in Eastern Europe? And what can be done about it? First off, I don't know to what extent it can be reduced. According to the hbdchick's theories on the Hajnal Line, ceteris paribus, Southern and Eastern Europe will always be more corrupt than the countries of "core Europe" because they... Read More
Has been released. It is basically a composite index of about a dozen subjective corruption ratings given out by various development organizations and more political NGOs (e.g. Freedom House). Although it generally reflects reality, as in it correlates well with other, more objective measures of corruption, there are two major caveats: (1) It is not... Read More
Transparency International has released the Global Corruption Barometer 2016 for Europe: The map above shows the answer to the most interesting question in the survey: "Did you or any member of your household make an unofficial payment or gift when using [a public service] over the past 12 months"? In the last survey from 2013,... Read More
Thomas Theiner, a businessman expat who has lived in Ukraine for the past 5 years, on what "business in Ukraine is really like": Businessmen that had managed to survive Yanukovych's shakedowns are throwing in the towel. The European Choice:
The most well known index of corruption is Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index. However, as I have frequently pointed out, it has a lot of problems. The biggest one lies in its very name - perceptions are not necessarily equal to reality, even - or especially - if they come from a narrow class of... Read More
Today a ceasefire has been agreed upon between Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which unlike the unilateral ceasefire declared by Azerbaijan three days ago seems to be holding. This allows us to make some more conclusions observations on what happened. Source: http://caucasus.liveuamap.com/, via Cassad. First, the Azeris have made gains, but their advance was ultimately... Read More
The front page of The Guardian on the first day of Panama Leaks: $2 billion!? Very impressive. Though admittedly, a rather disappointing find after more than a decade's worth of searching for Putin's $200 billion stash. But still, a curious choice of whom to focus on, considering the minor detail that Putin's name doesn't appear... Read More
Who would have the temerity to even suggest it? What kind of paid up Kremlin propagandist would even countenance such a possibility? Leonid Bershidsky is who. Bershidsky is a Russian journalist who left Moscow for Berlin a year ago on account of his distaste for Russia's direction under Putin, and where he now agitates for... Read More
They were promised Europe, they have arrived at... Gabon? As shown by a recent KIIS/IFER poll, the incidence of corruption - far from going down, as a loyal consumer of the Western media might expect - has if anything gone up. 40% of Ukrainians in September 2015 admitted they had paid a bribe in the... Read More
Someone stole $1 billion from Moldova. In a series of murky deals last November, the top three banks in Moldova - one of them state-owned - loaned out vast sums of cash to unknown recipients. As the article points out, it is one eighth of Moldova's GDP. It is also: About $350 per citizen. Four... Read More
It became symbolic of the absurdity of Yanukovych's kleptocracy when it was seized by the February Revolutionaries at his Mezhigorye residence. But now, it is nowhere to be found. "In effect, it was stolen. But by whom? I have a list of objects that weren't even confiscated. They were shown only on TV. Two months... Read More
After a long break, a new contribution to the Experts Panel: Western journalists have been in the business of dismissing Russian achievements and magnifying Russian failures ever since Putin drove them into a collective derangement syndrome - he even haunts their dreams, as recently revealed by the Guardian's Shaun Walker - so the preemptive besmirching... Read More
Here is the discussion at this on The Russia Debate. My friend and DR commentator Alexander Mercouris correctly predicted this outcome - that Serdyukov would be charged, but that it is a complex case that will take a long time and likely avoid more the more serious allegations in favor of those that can be... Read More
It is wrong to glamorize a political hustler with five criminal cases against him, says the National Bolshevik leader - who claims street cred on account of having done real time. Eduard Limonov on why Navalny became a hero of the bourgeoisie. I pay a lot of attention to Navalny. I do. In so far... Read More
Why was there no bribery incidence data for Russia in Transparency International's international survey of 2013? Andrey Kamenetsky at Odnako connects the dots to argue that it was simply because the results were too inconvenient to serve as propaganda. Dear Readers! In July there took place two major crashes in Russia. Both of them were... Read More
Or neither. Well, isn't this a useless post? I am referring to the Global Corruption Barometer released by Transparency International a couple of weeks ago, which I covered at my other blog. For the most part, there were no surprises; the only really strange figures came from Taiwan, where 36% of people claimed to have... Read More
Earlier today, Navalny received a custodial sentence of five years for the theft of 15 million rubles ($500,000) worth of timber from Kirovles. It is simply not true to say that there was "no case" against Navalny, as the Western and Russian liberal media insists on doing. There is wiretap evidence and witness testimony that... Read More
So apparently an Ambassadorship costs $1.8 million per post in the US. In virtually any other country, even where the situation with corruption is quite dismal, such arrangements would be seen as unquestionably corrupt. And yet the US scores an entirely respectable 73/100 in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), leagues above say Italy which... Read More
Here it is. Or just skip the graphics and download the data in Excel here. I can't say I care much about most of it. Of course most people everything think corruption is "increasing," because they are a grumpy lot. What does matter is the number of people who report paying a bribe in the... Read More
Izvestia writes: I wrote half a year ago (highlights are recent): Not to mention: To the contrary, Dagestan – the biggest Caucasian Muslim republic – has very few top scores relative to the number of very bright people we can expect to find there relative to most other Russian
If you remember a couple of weeks ago, the Internet was rocked - for a total of about one or two days - by a wave of leaks from the ICIJ about the identities of offshore account holders in the British Virgin Islands. What juicy revelations did we have about the henchmen of the kleptocratic... Read More
"The Otherness of Self" by Xin Liu, published in 2002. Rating: 1/5. I don’t want to sound overly demanding, but really, unless a writer is the next Kant or Heidegger, he owes it to his readers to make his prose at least minimally engaging. With this book on too many occasions I was under the... Read More
The anti-corruption crusader and best hope of the Russian race Navalny will be on trial for embezzlement on April 17th. And it has to be admitted that even many of us who tend to look at the liberal opposition's claims of repression with a healthy degree of skepticism are now "plagued by vague suspicions." It's... Read More
In a recent interview with the opposition Dozhd TV channel - which is, incidentally, available for public viewing in Russia as part of the NTV Plus satellite TV package - for the first time openly declared he wants to be President. He also speculated about the motivations behind the Kirovles fraud case being brought against... Read More
Anti-corruption efforts have been significantly stepped up in recent months, both in terms of headline making events (e.g. the dismissal of Serdyukov) and the less heralded progress in the introduction of new laws to combat the source. One of these is a ban on Russian bureaucrats holding foreign bank accounts (this represents a watering down... Read More
My latest for VoR's Experts Panel. (Incidentally, good to see that site getting revamped, and entering the Web 2.0 era). London has a reputation as a "safe sanctuary" for shady people of means from the ex-USSR and other less-developed places, and I think it's loath to lose it – as it would by extraditing the... Read More
In one of the recent posts on corruption, commentator AP wrote: Is this true? Seeing as how the Russian state doesn't release Unified State Exam (USE) results by region, probably due to PC considerations, at first this assertion might appear to be unanswerable. However, there is a way to get round the problem. (1) We... Read More
Continuing from my previous post (which focused mostly on trends), this one focuses exclusively on international comparisons as per the results of Transparency International's Global Corruption Barometer survey of 2010-11. The graphs represent affirmative answers to the question of whether the respondent had paid a bribe in the past 12 months to each of 9... Read More
One of the books I've been reading lately is Steven Pinker's massive door-stopper The Better Angels of Our Nature. Incidentally, I found it a very interesting read with tons of cool factoids, although it could have done with a third of its text and a tiny fraction of its liberal sanctimonious. But that's for the... Read More
My latest for the US-Russia.org Expert Discussion Panel. Also as usual it appears at Voice of Russia. The version printed here is a slightly longer one: There are already a lot of opinions on the topic of Russian corruption, and I see no pressing need to add more to that morass. I do however think... Read More
Not often that you see Russia in some color other than bloody red on a world map of corruption or institutional quality. But according to the Open Budget Index (2012 results), the Russian budget is actually pretty transparent as far as these things go. Of the major countries, only the UK (88), France (83), and... Read More
By the usual standards of Guardian reporting on Russia, this one by GQ Russia editor Andrew Ryvkin is... well, about par for the course. Citing a recent PwC report that Russia will overtake Germany to become Europe's biggest economy in 2030, he asks, "Should we believe them?" Well, the PwC is just repeating predictions made... Read More
I just remembered I'd made some in 2012. It's time to see how they went, plus make predictions for the coming year. Of course I failed to predict the biggest thing of them all: The hacking that made me throw in the towel on Sublime Oblivion (remember that?), but with the silver lining that I... Read More
Russia is preparing to "nationalize the elites" by forbidding bureaucrats (and their spouses and children) from owning property or bank accounts abroad. (1) This need hardly be said at this point but this does demonstrate that Russia is not the "kleptocracy" it is frequently described as. Why would kleptocrats purposefully make life any harder for... Read More
Typically when Westerners write about Chinese and Russians they stress the negative aspects of the relationship. Russians are invariably racist towards the Chinese and fear them in xenophobic reaction to their (non-existent) swamping of Siberia. The Chinese for their part laugh at the alcoholic, non-productive Russkies. And quite likely they will soon invade and take... Read More
When I cited TI figures showing that Russian everyday corruption is middling by global standards (percentage paying bribes: 26%, compared to 15% in Latvia, 18% in Greece, 24% in Hungary, 28% in Romania) - as opposed to being on the same plank with Zimbabwe or Liberia - one of the most common counter-arguments was that... Read More
It's one thing if Western journalists and Yukos PR henchmen - if there is indeed any difference - shill for all they're worth about the travails of Khodorkovsky, the former oligarch doing time for fleecing the Russian Treasury to the tune of billions of dollars, charges he sooner boasts about than denies when given the... Read More
Despite the unremitting hostility of its Russian neighbor, which crescendoed in a military occupation of a chunk of its territories, plucky Georgia's commitment to reform and democratic values will ensure its rapid development into a "booming Western-style economy." Under its charismatic Western-trained President, Saakashvili, it has rooted out corruption, ushered in untold prosperity and freedoms,... Read More
Analysis of the election data is now trickling in, so I feel I can now make some real preliminary estimates of the degree of fraud (eventually, I will compile a list of estimates as I did for the 2011 elections). My assessment is that in these elections it was on the order of 3%-4%, which... Read More
Despite Olga Kryshtanovskaya's disapproval, I thought it would be interesting and useful to compile a comprehensive list of blogger, pundit and "expert" opinions on the extent of fraud in the 2011 Duma elections. Interspersed among these opinions and analyses are results from federal opinion polls and other evidence. In general, it seems we can identify... Read More
In the aftermath of the 2011 Duma elections, the Russian blogosphere was abuzz with allegations of electoral fraud. Many of these were anecdotal or purely rhetorical in nature; some were more concrete, but variegated or ambiguous. A prime example of these were opinion polls and exit polls, which variably supported and contradicted the Kremlin's claims... Read More
The long-promised post is out, but not here but at Al Jazeera: Truth and falsifications in Russia. It has also been translated into Russian at Inosmi.ru (Правда и фальсификации в России). In the spirit of democracy, I am adopting Alexander Kireev's poll (kireev) to ask you guys what YOU think about how falsified these elections... Read More
For now I'm just making the data available without commentary. Make of it what you will. Levada (18-21 Nov), VCIOM (19-20 Nov), and ISI (4-10 Nov) predictions of election results based on polls. Election results as of Dec 9th 2011, 16:55 Moscow time, 99.99% counted. VCIOM (62 regions), FOM (80 regions), and ISI (24 regions)... Read More
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Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.

One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.

Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.