Transparency International (TI) has assessed the nations of the world in 2004, how corrupt their public figures and politicians are perceived to be, and recently released their findings [PDF]. The results are a measure of human greed and abuse of power -- 106 out of 146 countries scored less than 5 out of 10 on the index -- 60 countries scored less than 3 out of 10, indicating rampant corruption -- and the worst countries of all, scoring less than 2 out of 10: Bangladesh, Hati, Nigeria, Chad, Myanmar, Azerbaijan and Paraguay. Why is corruption bad? It's devastating to countries, as wealth is stolen from the local economies. TI estimates that $400 billion US is lost every year to corruption. Imagine if that money was reinvested into local economies what a difference it would make. For the curious, Canada ranks number 12 -- right behind the UK. The number one spot is held by Finland. USA ranks number 17.
[Thanks for the link Darren.]
For a comprehensive report on global corruption, check out TI's Global Corruption Report.