Tuesday, October 16, 2012

China: Express Line to Corruption

This story in the New Yorker about corruption in the Chinese Railway Ministry is well worth a read. You might think that sounds like something which would only be of interest to obscure auditors. It is not. This is on a spectacular scale, truly dramatic, epic in its lurid dirt and crime, and it is the biggest example of something which is the biggest threat to political stability in China.

Other government agencies also had serious financial problems—out of fifty, auditors found problems with forty-nine—but the scale of plunder in the railway world was in a class by itself. Liao Ran, an Asia specialist at Transparency International, told the International Herald Tribune that China’s high-speed railway was shaping up to be “the biggest single financial scandal not just in China, but perhaps in the world.”

It is the (literally) concrete details which illuminate how life is changing for quarter of the world's population. It would make a movie which would make The Godfather seem tame.


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