This article ties in to the editorial I’m writing now on “Who to trust” for retail financial services.
Yale economist Robert J. Shiller strikes a very different note. In Finance and the Good Society, he agrees that trust in business has been shaken (and cites, as they all do, the Edelman Trust Barometer as evidence), but Shiller doesn’t think it’s because business has in fact become more devious. Rather, he argues that a “great illusion” has taken hold in the public, whereby corporations and wealthy individuals are thought to “have an interest in ‘conquest,’ just as states were once thought to have.” Shiller points out how that defies logic. Only companies that serve their customers well remain in business. True enough: There is no management best seller called Bilk to Last.