Sunday, October 18, 2015

What 6.7 Million Euro Gets You

I sat and watched the German news last night, where they talked more over the 6.7 million Euro that was bribed over to the FIFA organization to ensure the 2006 World Cup soccer games were held in Germany.

This bribe....6.7 million Euro.....really isn't that much of a bribe when you consider the amount of cash spent by visitors for the games.  People had to fly into Germany and use the airports.  People had to use taxi services.  People ate tons of German food and drank millions of liters of beer that summer (more than they'd typically drank).  Visitors stayed at nice hotels and cheap hotels.  Across the nation, probably over 100 million t-shirts were sold.  In the cities where games were held....various food stands were put up in the 'fan-mile' area and clubs/franchisees made tons of money....which related back to tons of VAT (sales tax).  Extra hookers were brought into some towns where games were being played because the male customers would get excited and do stupid things (mostly because their wife wasn't around).

What the German government says in public (at least via Wiki quotes), is that the taxation folks made an extra 400 million Euro (more or less).  At least 2.5 billion Euro was spent on fan 'junk' (t-shirts, balls, flags, etc).  Somewhere in the mix.....around 500,000 (roughly) jobs were created for a brief period and employed people, who paid taxes on their income.  All of this relates to a robust economy in 2006.....chiefly because of 6.7 million Euro spent to bribe the right people.

When you stand and look at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the 2010 World Cup in South Africia....both were commercial success stories, with money/profit generated.....but the economic experts tend to agree.....Germany leads by a significant amount in terms of profit.

In terms of a huge ethics violation....I agree, bribes are a negative thing.  But, for such a small bribe....Germany itself (across the entire public sector) made a significant amount of profit.  It's hard to think of another enterprise where the relationship of profit to payment was better.

There's going to be discussions for weeks over this episode.  Some people think legal consequences will occur, but I question what law you will invoke and how a prosecutor will drag some guy into a courtroom for legal action.  The fact that the bribe did not occur on German soil will make this difficult enough.

As for the money being out of some billionaires pot of funds?  Maybe so.....but you can't really invent a law that says some rich guy is forbidden from dumping his pocket money into the middle of a situation to create a shifted decision process.

A soap opera?  Well, yeah.  It's actually come to help the German news media because this is a hotter topic than that refugee or immigration stuff.  Everyone has some opinion about the bribe and it's ethical debate.

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