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The fight to eliminate world poverty is being severely hampered by corrupt leaders in developing countries. According to the African Union, some $150 billion is lost every year to corruption in Africa. In China, it is estimated corruption diminishes the annual value of gross domestic product by 15%. The pattern repeats itself elsewhere.

This bleak situation compounds the poverty problem even more because donor countries are justifiably reluctant to support jurisdictions whose leaders are known to be corrupt, ignoring their citizens’ needs while stealing and laundering public funds for private use. What development does occur in chronically corrupt nations is often poorly planned and environmentally unsustainable, since the private gain of corrupt politicians and officials takes precedence over the implementation of sound development strategies. Likewise, bureaucratic corruption also results in the compromising of worker and consumer safety after all, a bribe costs less than obeying the law. And it is the poor who really pay the true cost of corruption.

The Poverty of Corrupt Nations is a straightforward, easy-to-read exposition of the nature and scope of global corruption and money laundering, explaining the impact of recent troubling corruption trends on the public-at-large and public policy makers. Specifically, Cullen examines the links between world poverty, corruption, terrorism, global migration patterns, and money laundering. Constructively, Cullen then outlines a practical 20-point program to increase transparency and accountability in governments and parliaments around the world and break this cycle of corruption and poverty.

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