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'Bribes and personal interest over public welfare are the norm'

Dear FCPA Blog,

Crooked Pols Abound In America Too was enjoyable and on point. But Chicago-style politics, albeit well-known, are truly not the exception. After decades of international business in many colorful places, I used to be amazed by the openness of the government officials in their handling of government affairs. Generally, if it was good for their personal bank account, it was therefore good for the government.

A senator in Mexico told me a few years ago that getting elected was the ultimate prize, because whatever the position, the elected official could collect money as long as he could hold his position. The higher the position, the more the money. A governor, elected in the last few years, came into office broke, and was rich in both assets and cash in mere months. We are talking generational wealth.

Reading Cassin's article reminded me of thoughts of how the U.S. is becoming Mexico; bribes and personal interest over public welfare the norm. In fact, my blurred vision has lately focused on the idea that the U.S. is approximately a hundred years older, and quite likely, the U.S. taught the Mexicans! That is my epiphany, anyway.

While the worst of corruption I've seen is probably in Africa, I must say, this hemisphere is not lacking in bad acts.

Keep up the good work, FCPA Blog!

Bobby Vassallo

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