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IMF Refports Rampant Economic Fraud - 5/27/16

A new estimate from the International Monetary Fund indicates that roughly two trillion dollars’ worth of projects, permits, and other transactions around the globe were tainted by bribery last year.  That amounts to approximately two percent of total global economic output. 

The International Monetary Fund paper warns that the broader costs of graft, fraud and other forms of official corruption are likely much higher.  As reported by the Wall Street Journal, an era of low global economic growth, increasing political strife and a series of high profile corruption cases including Brazil and the Panama Papers are elevating the issue to the fore. 

The new research could provide International Monetary Fund staff greater discretion to to use the fund’s economic surveillance and lending as leverage to overhaul corrupt political and economic systems in member countries.  The Fund is already using its bailout power to try to alter deeply entrenched corruption, including in Ukraine and Liberia. 

Recently, the fund temporarily suspended its financial bailout in Mozambique over secret billion dollar loans.  According to Transparency International, the least corrupt nations in the world are Denmark, Finland and Sweden.  American ranks sixteenth.   

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.