Neil Hendershot has a terrific post on his blog called "Liquid Trust" or "Living Trustworthiness"? With tongue in cheek, he talks of buying trust in a bottle (like Love Potion No. 9) to solve the nation’s financial crsis.
"Liquid Trust is the world’s first Trust Enhancing Body Spray, specially formulated to increase trust in the wearer.
Scientists have recently discovered a chemical that makes people trust each other. For the first time, you can have the world in the palm of your hands…It all starts with Trust."
On a more serious note, what Neil points out is that in the midst of the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression, we find ourselves in a world without integrity, without honesty and accountability.
As David Francis says, writing for the Christian Science Monitor, when "so many people engaged in so many aspects of finance have lost their ethical compass and put their short-term personal gains above other considerations, such as was the case in the subprime mortgage market in the US, it can have a "profound macroeconomic impact." In other words, the broad economy gets hurt by greed and selfishness as ensuing financial losses mount and trust fades."
Which brings me to the current Congressional debate over whether Washington should enact an extraordinary bailout of the country’s financial system.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, (Ohio-D), said calls from his constituents about the plan have been universally negative. He told the story of one constituent who drove to Washington:
"He quite rightly asked why we were rushing to bailout companies whose leaders got rich gambling with other people’s money,"
There is plenty of blame to go around for the current crisis. Part of being trustworthy is being accountable.
As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi put it: If the bailout passes, "The party is over for this compensation for CEOs who take the golden parachute as they drive their companies into the ground. … The party is over for financial institutions taking risks [and] at the same time privatizing any gain they may have while they nationalize the risk, asking the taxpayer to pick up the tab,"