Monday, July 25, 2005

316 Billion Dollar Ravings

INDEM – a ‘respected Russian think tank’, as BBC called it – published a report on corruption in Russia based on a poll conducted among 3000 respondents. Its key points: in 2004 the total volume of ‘business corruption’ (bribes businessmen give to government officials) was 316 bln. US dollars, an average bribe was 136 thousand US dollars and an average sum one business spends on bribes reached 243 thousand US dollars. Almost every major newspaper in Russia and abroad cited this with usual rants about Russia being totally rotten and corrupt. Although a couple of experts expressed some disbelief in the result, the majority of Russia specialists didn’t show even a sign of doubt. I couldn’t believe it. What INDEM presented as a serious research results is totally ludicrous! I don’t deny that corruption is a serious problem in Russia but let us make some simple calculation. Dividing 316 bln. by 243 thous. means 1 300 thousand businesses that bribe government official but there are “only” 2 mln. 756 thousands businesses in this country all in all, including small kiosks, cafes, street vendors. Does anyone believe that almost every second Russian business can afford to spend 243 thousand USD on bribes every year? Russians must be richer than Saudi princes. Now let’s make another type of calculation. Only 3% of Russian households have monthly income that exceeds 2 000 USD. There are 45 900 thousand households in Russia and 3% from this number means 1 380 thousands “rich” families. In the executive branch in Russia there are 983 thousand working people including every petty clerk and receptionist. On average everyone of them should get 312 thousand USD last year. Ok, let’s say that among them only 10% are those who make important decisions and the result will be 3 mln. 120 thousands USD extra income. Three cases packed with 100 dollar bills for every corrupt bureaucrat just in one year. Not bad.


Hinter said...

Hint: You've forgot 90-10% rule. For Russia case it even must have been 98-2 rule.

simon said...

Here's a satirical game from over the pond. 'Whack-a-miner'.
You play a Brave British Bobby (!) during the 80s Miners' strike, and you must whack those miners for Thatcher. It takes its inspiration from 'Whack-a-mole', and of course, Miners and moles have a lot in common.

Play it at

or at

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