The Antigua HQ of Stanford International Bank
There is something about the picture of Sir Allen Stanford that screams SCAM (or alleged scam I should still probably say). Or is that just how it looks now with the benefit of hindsight? I have been to Antigua a number of times and I do remember wondering idly as I looked out of the window of the taxi at the immaculate Stanford cricket ground and the somewhat pompous head office adjacent (its right outside the airport) why anyone would choose Antigua as a base for an international banking business. It’s a great place don’t get me wrong, but no other bank spotted its unique qualities as a global head office location. In retrospect of course he has done for poor Antigua what Del Boy did for Peckham (apologies to those unfamiliar with vintage British TV comedy). And is it just me or is there something now singularly shady looking about Madoff? The hair is creepy yes? And above market returns year after year with no discernible methodology? And the fact that with a bit of online search anyone could have discovered enough to give you pause about both of them says something about how we have trusted people in the last few years. I have been presenting the Edelman Trust Barometer in a number of countries and different industry settings over the last few months. And, of course, one of the implications we like to trade on at Edelman is that more trust = good, less trust = bad. But maybe, just maybe in some parts of our lives we were all TOO trusting over the last few years.
No trust me . .
No, no trust me . . .
And me, you can trust me . . . .
Who else do we trust?