Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Welcome to the United States of Kleptocracy
Kleptocracy, alternatively cleptocracy or kleptarchy, (from Greek: κλέπτης - kleptēs, "thief" and κράτος - kratos, "power, rule", hence "rule by thieves") is a form of political and government corruption where the government exists to increase the personal wealth and political power of its officials and the ruling class at the expense of the wider population, often without pretense of honest service. This type of government corruption is often achieved by the embezzlement of state funds.
In early 2004, the anti-corruption Germany-based NGO Transparency International released a list of what it believes to be the ten most self-enriching leaders in recent years.
In order of amount allegedly stolen (in USD), they were:
1. Former Indonesian President Suharto ($15 billion - $35 billion)
2. Former Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos ($5 billion - $10 billion)
3. Former Zairian President Mobutu Sese Seko ($5 billion)
4. Former Nigerian Head of State Sani Abacha ($2 billion – $5 billion)
5. Former Yugoslav and Serbian President Slobodan Milošević ($1 billion)
6. Former Haitian President Jean-Claude Duvalier ($300 million – $800 million)
7. Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori ($600 million)
8. Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko ($114 million – $200 million)
9. Former Nicaraguan President Arnoldo Alemán ($100 million)
10. Former Philippines President Joseph Estrada ($78 million – $80 million)