KICKBACK by David Montero


Exposing the Global Corporate Bribery Network
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Following the money to discover how corporate payoffs and billions of dollars in bribes have shaped current events.

In his debut book, investigative journalist Montero, a former Christian Science Monitor correspondent and Frontline producer, peels back layers of corruption to uncover the secret network of bribery and intimidation that exists among many of the world's largest corporations and the public officials who profit from their misconduct. Culled from a mix of court records, leaked confidential documents, and personal interviews, the book details how corporate payoffs contributed to the regime of Saddam Hussein, the economic collapse of Greece, and other instances of national governments selling out their constituents to the highest bidder. “Corporate bribes involve a remarkable amount of money,” writes the author. “The World Bank has estimated $1 trillion a year, though this may represent the high end; others have placed the amount at 10 percent of the $4 trillion spent annually on global public procurement.” Providing a closer look at how these massive transactions are orchestrated, Montero profiles the middlemen who specialize in rubbing elbows with world leaders and heads of industry while ensuring that any illegal financial transactions remain below the radar of federal investigators. The incredible wealth and unapologetic public personas of the many co-conspirators are both fascinating and deplorable. The author is at his most compelling when connecting these sordid backroom dealers with some of the world's most recognizable brand names and the international conflicts that they helped foster. Although Montero’s tendency to hurry through the complicated chain of events involved in such high-level payoffs makes them sometimes difficult to follow, many of his revelations are worth studying. While often treated casually among those directly involved, these payoffs have consistently significant, wide-reaching effects on world events. After all, writes the author, “corporate bribery is not a rogue act.”

A startling window into the bribery that shapes the world in which we live, including the major corporate players and government parties involved in the corruption.

Pub Date: Nov. 13th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-670-01647-1
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2018


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