Friday 56 talks about bribes and the Stealth of Nations

  • Thursday, February 16, 2012

"In Nigeria, when someone goes beyond the necessities of their job to help you out, some kind of recognition, and not a simple thank-you and a handshake, is appropriate. Indeed, it's expected. Nigerian traders call this "showing appreciation." Most Lagos traders even classify certain forms of traditional bribery as showing appreciation--for instance, when they offer a bit of money to a customs official to work with them to reduce import tariffs at the port."
- p. 56, Stealth of Nations by Robert Neuwirth

I'm really excited to read this one because I totally know about this underground economy, for real. It;s not only fascinating but also the "way of the world" so to speak. I first heard about the book through Christiane Amanpour's video:

Here's the synopsis:
When we think of the informal economy, we tend to think of crime: prostitution, gun running, drug trafficking. "Stealth of Nations" opens up this underground realm, showing how the worldwide informal economy deals mostly in legal products and is, in fact, a ten-trillion-dollar industry, making it the second-largest economy in the world, after that of the United States.
Having penetrated this closed world and persuaded its inhabitants to open up to him, Robert Neuwirth makes clear that this informal method of transaction dates back as far as humans have existed and traded, that it provides essential services and crucial employment that fill the gaps in formal systems, and that this unregulated market works smoothly and effectively, with its own codes and unwritten rules.
Combining a vivid travelogue with a firm grasp on global economic strategy--along with a healthy dose of irreverence and skepticism toward conventional perceptions--Neuwirth gives us an eye-opening account of a world that is always operating around us, hidden in plain sight.
Join in The Friday 56 at Freda's Voice and share what you're reading!

Oh, I ended up buying this book on Book Depository because they have an awesome deal until February 29. Book Depository is offering an 10% off already heavily reduced books. If you're interested in getting a 10% off coupon, give me your email address and I'll send off your coupon right away! (Disclaimer: I referred a friend and that friend ended up buying her own book and I got an additional 10% off the book price - which I used to buy this. So if you end up buying something with  the coupon code, you're also giving me a coupon code for 10% off, so we both win! :) )


  1. Wow, this one sounds mind-blowing...thanks for sharing.


  2. Sounds like a very interesting book.

    Here's my Friday 56 Post:

  3. Not what I expected to read about Nigerians. Over here all we hear about is the bad stuff like killing each other. We hardly hear about the good and valuable stuff, like love and honor.
    Sounds like a deep read.

  4. Sound like a good thing for everyone to practice!
    Here’s Mine

  5. Laurel-Rain Snow - that's exactly my first impression! :)

    Maria, thank so much for visiting. I'll pop over :)

    Fredamans, well bribes are "bad" but really isn't it all about semantics.

    Vicki, so nice to meet you! I'll pay you a visit!

  6. I absolutely love the choice and variety of books you like to read. This is a deep subject. I like "hot topics." I always look forward to your comments when you have time to stop by.

  7. Hello! Thanks for the visit to my blog!

    Interesting 'Friday 56'. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Two years ago my hubby was in Nigera for work and they passed money at customs as a 'thank you' when leaving the country.

  9. Thanks Yvonne!

    LadyD, eclectic reader definitely :)I always enjoy dropping by your blog!

    Wutheringwilow, always a pleasure for me to drop by the Friday 56 roundup!

    Linda, it's a pretty common practice in the world apparently!

  10. Sounds like an interesting book! What's appropriate someplace may be inappropriate elsewhere! Nice snippet!


© guiltless readingMaira Gall