found this at minyanville.com



The US has suffered a worsening in its perceived levels of corruption following a series of business scandals and increasing worries over political party funding an anti-corruption watchdog said, according to the Financial Times.
  • In an international ranking of countries released ahead of Tuesday’s mid-term congressional elections, the US fell to 20th place from 17th last year.
  • Its score fell from 7.6 to 7.3, with 10 representing “least corrupt” and 0 “rampant corruption.”
  • Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index ranks 163 countries based on opinion polls and expert assessments.
  • Finland, Iceland and New Zealand are the world’s least corrupt countries, while Haiti, Burma, and Iraq are most corrupt, according to the index.
  • This year’s index score for Iraq of 1.9 is based only on surveys made after the invasion.
  • “The systems for upholding integrity in Iraq, the rule of law and courts, are not functioning, or have been destroyed,” said David Nussbaum, Transparency International chief executive.
  • The index revealed a link between corruption and poverty, Transparency International said, with all low-income countries scoring below 5.0.