Banking is a mess, B2B trust and Karl Marx smiles at “mother of all bailouts”

Karl Marx Smiles @StratoServe

The “nationalization” of institutions like Freddie, Fannie, AIG and so on and so on reminds me of what we thought we had left behind. Namely, socialism, the socialistic pattern and communism. Marx would be smiling and his more moderate followers like “Fabian Socialists”  would be laughing more loudly. Nationalization protects the consumer somewhat but creates public sector monsters.(Note : This post was posted September 19, 2008) .But I digress…

B2B scholars, including myself, have been studying  trust the glue that holds business together for a while  (Read Morgan and Hunt’s interview here). We all were studying industrial firms supplying nuts bolts and other verifiable stuff that went into a value chain. Then came along the Internet and the study of trust went on to “e-Trust” and so on.

Banking,Insurance, Finance  value chains were frankly not on the B2B scholarly radar. The fact that home values were being pumped up (by appraisers threatened by real estate brokers) , home owner incomes were not being verified ( by bankers – I am  not clear what the incentive/threat was ), and mortgages were instantly sold (at a discount as a fancy” instrument”) and then resold again and again with no “value add” seem so obvious in hindsight. The truth came to me very sharply when someone on a TV talk show said that today bankers won’t lend money to each other because they can’t trust each other… this brings us to the mother of all bail outs aka nationalization and a smiling Karl Marx with a “V” sign…. more as things play out ..

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