Direct corruption, bribery, buying-off, paying-off, secret rewards for services etc. happens. It is punishable but hardly prosecuted though it is an important factor in the increase in prices and taxes common citizens have to pay.
Even more important – and never prosecuted – is legalised corruption, the misuse of entrusted power for private gain, sometimes direct gain by free emoluments as parties, holidays, transport, houses or bonuses, sometimes postponed benefits by getting later higher functions and thus more income. This money stream from the lower echelons to the top is integrated in society. Corruption causes bad decisions for common citizens and increases the inequality in wealth and income. increase in prices and taxes common citizens have to pay.
The income (and bonuses) of mortgagors is dependent on the number and the height of mortgages, so corruption (misuse of power) is close by. Employees force people to take subprime mortgages knowing that clients cannot even pay the interest.
The pockets of the decision-takers are filled but what happens to common citizens is not important.
A lot is written about bribery and even about legalised corruption (e.g. bonuses) but nothing changes. But hard words break no bones – and in Dutch we add you have to hit them to break the bones (Schelden doet geen zeer, slaan des te meer). There is no independent power that controls and punishes.
Therefore we need Autonomous Clubs that control and veto and in the end punish selfish faulty leaders.
Joost van Steenis