A few posts down I drew attention to Putin and his 'thugocracy' as they hammered yet another harmless opposition blogger. Obviously when it comes to applying the full force of the state against the hapless and the harmless, the security police apparat suddenly finds reserves of efficiency. Needless to say, when it comes to actual large - and I mean eye-wateringly huge - crimes that severely damage the state, they are too busy beating up bloggers!
The amount of dirty money flowing in and out of Russia has more than doubled over the past eight years, robbing the country of productive capital and driving a massive underground economy, a new report has found.
Global Financial Integrity, a Washington think tank that studies illicit money flows, estimates that an average of $61.72 billion in money earned from corruption, human trafficking, arms smuggling and other illegal activities has entered or left Russia each year since the start of 2004, a 228 percent increase from the $27.06 billion in illicit funds seen annually on average in the prior decade.
This sort of thing is like a slowly metastatizing cancer in a society. Slowly but irrevocably it spreads through the system weakening and in the end destroying the sinews of state. Given that this is Russia and it's Putin's regime, then good luck to the crooks, I say!
Still, Russia only ranks fifth among developing economies for total illegal
money flows, far behind China, which GFI estimates has lost $3.79 trillion
between 2000 and 2011.
China saw an estimated $764.27 billion in dirty money between 1994 and
2011, GFI said in its report "Russia: Illicit Financial Flows and the Role
of the Underground Economy," released on Tuesday.
The dirty money feeds a massive underground economy, equivalent to 46
percent of Russia's national economic output and 3.5 times more than the
average for other major industrialized nations in the Group of Eight.
The shadow economy fueled by illicit flows enriches a small business and
criminal elite at the expense of the broader citizenry, and it flourishes
because Russia's government institutions are weak, with corruption and
accountability measures worsening, GFI said.
What a festering pit of a country!