Who are you trusting right now you shouldn’t be?

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.

Trust me!

No trust me . .

No, no trust me . . .

And me, you can trust me . . . .

Who else do we trust?

Categories Technology

3 thoughts on “Who are you trusting right now you shouldn’t be?

  1. Good post. But the more interesting question is, can we trust Edelman’s assessment of its own 2009 Trust Barometer Survey? Edelman’s interpretation of the Trust barometer’s results is squarely in the camp of doom and gloom. But just as you argue above, one needs to look beneath the surface to see what’s going on. I put forward an alternative and more positive assessment of the survey’s findings here:

    http://paulseaman.eu/2009/01/would-you-trust-a-trust-survey/

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  2. Well someone once said that there were lies, damned lies and statistics I guess. You are right it is not all doom and gloom. As far as Trust in business is concerned, it has laways been low in Europe (or ‘old Europe’) and is this year a bit lower…but not greatly. In the developing economies it has been unafffected and in some markets has even increased (Holland and Sweden for example). It is the US where we have seen the big collapse. In your post you rightly point out some of the defficiencies in our study. It is a blunt instrument and it is open to interpretation (which is why we freely publish it for the industry to do as you have done). We would love to ask more people more questions, but the fact is it costs such a lot to produce even this instrument that that is not possible. But the data over 10 surveys now paints a big picture of some trends and does give some clues. I enjoyed your analysis. Thanks. http://paulseaman.eu/2009/01/would-you-trust-a-trust-survey/

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  3. apologies for typos above… done on the run.

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