grease payment

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grease payment (plural grease payments)

  1. (chiefly US, idiomatic, business, law, ethics) A bribe or extorted money, usually relatively small in amount, provided to a low-level government official or business person, in order to expedite a business decision, shipment, or other transaction, especially in a country where such payments are not unusual.
    • 1981, Peter Grier, "US curb on overseas bribes: too prim, or simply proper?," Christian Science Monitor, 28 Jul. (retrieved 9 Apr. 2009):
      Critics say there is no distinction between extortion and bribery, and that the distinction between a payoff (illegal) and a "grease" payment made to speed along normal duties (legal under the act) is unclear.
    • 2007, Mike Rast, "Webinar Prepares Local Companies for Cultural Gaps with India, China,", 30 Oct. (retrieved 9 Apr. 2009):
      An important legal distinction is the difference between bribery and “grease payments,” which are paid in these countries not to affect someone’s decision-making but to speed the process of dealing with government.



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