Just think, if the money lost to tax evasion was available for governments to allocate according to current spending patterns, the amount going towards health services could save an estimated 1.9 million children a year. That's approximately 21 fewer children dying in the time it took you to read this article.
Corruption is not just a cost; it is a curse that deeply affects individuals as well as the state system. It is the single most important obstacle to economic growth and development. It is devastating for investment and growth on the one hand, and denies the poor of equal opportunity and basic services, on the other.
The controversial Lobbying Bill, which narrowly passed through the Lords on Tuesday, is now almost certain to become law. It's a bill about lobbyists, political campaigning regulation but it matters as much to the people I represent in Wigan as it does to the Westminster bubble because it tells a story of why so many people don't believe in politics.
In the past, political culture in India has consisted of deep-rooted and enduring orientations. Movements that mobilized identities have, on occasion, established themselves as national movements, often through electoral mobilization. Yet the AAP represents a shift to movements that engage the state directly.
By the standards of the grandiose mansions of Abuja, the planned city that became Nigeria's capital just two decades ago, Edwin Kiagbodo Clark's villa in a quiet, narrow, street is modest. The living room is dark and poky, and although large, portraits of Chief Clark, as he is known, are visible, most have yet to be hung up...
You don't have to be a Marxist to feel a sense of outrage at these statistics. I trust that most of us with an ounce of sympathy for the suffering of fellow human beings would sense that the global economic system that engineers such disparity in the way people live is dysfunctional and requires serious reforms.
An ominous message on environmentalist campaigner Ofir Drori Facebook page today, marks the anniversary of the execution of Ken Saro Wiwa. Eighteen years on, as I finalise an interview with The Rainforest Foundation, I cannot help but despair at the tragic impact corruption continues to have on this planet, where the actions of money hungry, greedy individuals leads to often irreversible destruction.
This week, the Home Secretary launched the new National Crime Agency, along with a Serious and Organised Crime Strategy. Only last week, Transparency International published the Anti-Corruption Scorecard - an assessment of the UK's performance on a range of corruption indicators. If the Government delivers on its new strategy, the scorecard will soon look dated.
Companies are not the only ones to have discovered the opportunities offered by an increasingly globalised world. Some 3,600 criminal gangs are active in more than one country in the EU and of those 70% boast an international work force and 30% commit more than one type of crime. Worldwide organised crime costs the global economy €670 billion a year. Crime on this scale can only be successfully be countered at an international level.
One of government minister Vince Cable's first headaches this autumn will be to decide whether to allow the public to find out who really controls 2.5 million companies in the UK. You could be forgiven for thinking that such information is already out there, perhaps on the internet or from Companies House - but you'd be wrong.