What is the meaning of ‘crony capitalism’?

‘Crony capitalism’ is a pejorative term used to refer to the corrupt business dealings carried out by government officials in a capitalist economy; it refers to the success in business based on a close relationship between businessmen and government officials. The word ‘crony’ means ‘friend’; it is generally used to show disapproval. If you were to refer to Prakash as ‘Dilip’s crony’, the implication is that you do not approve of Prakash. What is it that politicians normally do when they become ministers? They help their family members and friends make money by awarding them government contracts, legal permits, special tax breaks, etc. This favouritism that they show towards family members and friends is called ‘crony capitalism’.

Source: ‘Know Your English’ ( The Hindu) – November 13, 2007

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