Report on the evening talk on “The World and Economics: Regaining Trust” given by Colin Stewart of Citi, Scotland on 11th March 2013.
business matters is grateful to DWF Biggart Baillie who hosted the talk and discussion and provided tea and coffee.
Recordings of Colin’s talk (57 min) and the Q&A time (20 min) can be accessed using the icons at the foot of the page.
It is our normal practice to write up a text report on the talk for this page on the website. In this instance the wide ranging scope of Colin’s talk, its interactive style and the nature of the evening make this difficult so what follows is a list of just a few of the points and questions which are addressed in the recordings.
- An observation: – we live in worrying times where there is a lack of trust.
- Who do we trust most and least? Politicians, bankers? Think about the python in Disney’s “Jungle Book” – “trust in me” as he prepares to eat us. Most trusted in 2011 survey – supermarkets and Robert Peston of the BBC – least trusted in 2011 – politicians and religious leaders.
- Origins of 2008 financial crisis? Actually in 1987 in USA promoting home ownership and sub prime debts.
- What is the heart of banking and why have we lost it? – origins of banking – “my word is my bond”. RBS crisis – breakdown in trust that I can get my money back from the bank.
- Who is to blame? How does our demand for cheap credit play into this situation? – Is it supermarkets driving cheap meals or is it our demand?
- We have been bingeing on cheap credit for too long. – A culture of greed and fear is at the root of the problem.
- Europe – is the euro and CFP to blame? Rather the issue is political and issue of trust.
- John Lewis vs Amazon – the ethics of business. The trust dividend.
- How can we play a role in promoting the “trust dividend” where we work?
- Looking at countries who have been successful. The example of Sweden.
- Coming back to who is to blame and what we can do. Can we challenge unethical, target-driven practices? What about our own annual objectives?
- Societal culture of “I want it and I want it now”.
- Sweden – individual and collective responsibility and resultant reform. A change in culture – trust the taxman and pay your taxes.
- Let’s all develop our own “trust dividend” in our own actions and approach at work.
This was a stimulating talk which is well worth listening to in order to flesh out the points above.
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