Below is an interesting graph of the results from the latest Transparency International survey dubbed the "2011 Bribe Payers Index" . Higher scores means there is a lower perception of bribery by companies from those countries. Therefore, companies from the Netherlands are considered the least shady and companies from Russia are considered the most shady of the 28 countries involved in the survey. However, the report notes the obvious "The index shows that there is no country among the 28 major economies whose companies are perceived to be wholly clean and that do not engage in bribery."
A little background on the survey
"Transparency International’s 2011 Bribe Payers Survey asked more than 3,000 business executives worldwide about their views on the extent to which companies from 28 of the world’s leading economies engage in bribery when doing business abroad (Appendix A). The score for each country is based on the views of the business executives who had come into contact with companies from that country."The survey then breaks it down by industry.....again the lower the score the higher the perception of bribery.
The survey clearly shows it is well known among business executives that "Public works contracts and construction" is where the most bribing is taking place by a significant margin. Although, I find it interesting that "banking and finance" is ranked where it is. However, I suppose this is a survey about the illegal activity of bribing vs the legalized shady practices of the Federal Reserve system, which in conjunction with the Primary Dealers, engages in what amounts to robbery from savers and tax payers alike......so I guess in that way it makes sense!
An interesting tidbit from the survey points out that prior to May 2011 it was not even a criminal offense for Chinese companies to bribe foreign government officials (not that it means it will actually be enforced). Besides, even when it is considered illegal, many companies just consider the resulting slap on the wrist the cost of doing business. We can be sure the recent AstraZeneca case is just business as usual.