I have no desire to be a keyboard warrior or on-line troll, but this story in Law360 is nonsense. The Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index is not, as the headline suggests, a “study” that suggests the “global anti-corruption fight is fizzling.” First, the CPI reflects perceptions of corruption, not actual corruption. It provides a useful data point, but is highly subjective and has been the subject of substantial, well-considered criticism. Second, is it reasonable to conclude that global efforts to fight corruption are failing simply because an arbitrary index reflects a trend of lower scores? What should the scores be? What would they be if the global anti-corruption fight were not “fizzling?” Finally, do Transparency International and Law360 really believe that there has not been meaningful progress in fighting bribery around the world in recent years? Do they really think it's harder to do business in places like India and China without paying bribes than it was 5 years ago? That is not my experience. Do they really think that the DOJ and SEC efforts to aggressively enforce the FCPA for decades have had no effect – simply a fizzle? Again, that's not at all consistent with what I see in the real world. This story, particularly its headline, is lazy and creates a very misleading impression of what's actually going on in the world.
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