The report quotes columnist George Will's verdict that 'the [Obama] administration's central activity - the political allocation of wealth and opportunity - is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption.' Fair enough, but that's been the case for a long time.
The late Polish-British sociologist Stanislav Andreski, most famous as the author of the still highly relevant Social Sciences as Sorcery (1972), observed in Parasitism and Subversion: the Case of Latin America (1966) that the most important factor explaining why Anglo-America was prosperous and Latin America indigent was that in the former the main avenue to wealth was business, while in the latter it was politics.
Capitalism tends toward a productive orientation when the capitalist entrepreneurs can neither use coercion for the purpose of parasitic exploitation, nor are so devoid of strength as to be exposed to exploitation themselves - in other words, when businessmen are too weak to prey upon the other classes, but too strong to be preyed upon. Such a situation requires a certain degree of balance of power between the business elite and the political elite. An important application of the principle is that capitalism can function beneficently only in a society where money cannot buy everything, because if it can, then the power of wealth can have no counterweight and a parasitic involution ensues.
Things are far from so clear cut in the United States today - and of course even less so in the EU - while Chile has become the exception that proves the rule in Latin America.
For many years I alternated between periods in Latin America and in Britain. On return to Britain I was always struck by the decreasing number of differences. Britain now has many cultural similarities to a Third World country - and has been de-developing economically for decades. Given its penchant for doing things big, the United States may well overtake us on the way down as fast as it did on the way up.