Kickback: Exposing The Global Corporate Bribery Network
An investigation into corporate bribery around the world and how it undermines democracy and the free market system
The World Bank estimates that rich multinational corporations pay hundreds of billions of dollars in bribes every year to officials overseas. The perpetrators are not a handful of rogue companies, but many members of the Fortune 500. Kickback is a sweeping, global investigation into corporate bribery around the world and how backdoor financial transactions undermine democracy and the free market system by lining the pockets of some of the world’s worst dictators and criminals. Ultimately, this system affects billions of people by creating conditions that lead to poverty, violence, environmental disaster, and political instability in countries like Nigeria, Bahrain, Costa Rica, and Iraq.
Kickback traces the origins of corporate bribery from the reign of the British East India Company to the methods by which it is carried out today. Traveling across four continents and interviewing police and intelligence officials, convicted criminals, business executives, and corruption experts, David Montero takes an inside look at bribery’s pernicious effects. He examines its ramifications at both the individual and national levels–from the murder of a young activist in Bangladesh to a Texas billionaire’s dealings with Saddam Hussein, from pharmaceutical firms’ payoffs in China to how the entrenched culture of bribery helped destroy the Greek economy. Montero also examines the countermeasures that have been introduced to combat these practices, such as the Justice Department’s efforts to halt them and attempts to identify and provide restitution to victims.
Given the new era of profound uncertainty we are entering–the strength of the European Union founders, the power of China rises, the global economy continues on a path of perilous flux, and allegations mount that President Donald Trump and his associates are possibly tainted by bribery themselves–the stakes for eradicating corporate bribery have never been higher.