Saturday, February 05, 2022

The Corruption Tango (Part 3 The Temptation of Black Gold)

Part 3 of The Corruption Tango (see previously)

III. The Temptation of Black Gold


Meanwhile, this century has seen a number of elections in Nigeria
Our West African brethren, branded poster child for chaos and disorder

And the conventional wisdom from, say, The Economist was hardly honorable
Sample headline: Nigeria's elections - Big men, big fraud and big trouble

Home of the hustle, the country is continually in the headlines
Tales of shenanigans galore and the entrenched climate of the 419

You'll read things like "rotten at the core", fodder for scoundrels
But doesn't that also describe the options backdating scandal?

Western media hardly covers the good news in the darkest continent
Would that they would apply the same scrutiny to shell games on their end

I actually think it's miraculous for such a large country to keep moving
And even taking more than baby steps after decades of misrule and killing

Everyone wants things to move fast, corruption is surely a tax on the common man
But every complex ecosystem has parasites, that shouldn't be hard to understand

So there will always be the temptation of black gold
It's human nature, a golden target will never get old

Then there are stories like "Saudi prince received arms cash"
That focus on the recipient, the venal prince with the stash

And not on the British multinational arms company
That so happily disbursed those fistfuls of golden money

Observers are worried, how doth the little crocodile?
It seems as if many prefer to affect denial

There seems to be something rather structural at hand
For perverse incentives, seem to be part of the plan

It doesn't seem to matter that the shadow looms of the regulator
The threat of enforcement actions and severe sanctions hardly matter

High profile companies are unbothered by the specter of the compliance officer
Ignored, and written off, with a touch of sleaze and the workings of the human factor

Or, more formally, the temptations are an inherent part of the process
In this light, bribery is viewed as part of the cost of doing business

There are two sides to this social disease, it just goes to show
That it takes two to do the corruption tango

Queen Portia

Black Gold, a playlist


A soundtrack for this note

See also: The Corruption Tango: A Playlist

The Corruption Tango


A dance in four movements.
  1. A Touch of Sleaze
  2. Cease and Desist
  3. The Temptation of Black Gold
  4. The World's Lawyer
I nominate this internal displacement for The Things Fall Apart series under the banner of Fallen Angels.

Next: Part 4 The World's Lawyer

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Writing log. Concept: July 7, 2005; March 10, 2021

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