In his book McMafia, Misha Glenny describes the criminalization of Eastern European economies and governments that resulted from the post-Communist stripping of public assets. Looking a little closer to home, one has to wonder what the future holds for the US in the aftermath of the privatization/Homeland Security binge of asset-stripping that is still playing out.
Even if we are able to someday return law and order to public life, it will be a long time before we can recover from the economic damage done. The alternative of accelerating our descent into Balkan-style governance and Russian-style capitalism is not as remote as we might wish to think.
With all the proceeds of looting under Bush/Cheney now safely laundered offshore, the ability of the American body politic to fend off the temptation of bribery or fear of retaliation from this new criminal sector is already compromised.