It’s been said the older one gets they lose interest in the bedroom. Since there’s as much interest paid on savings these days at some banks, retirees, senior citizens, and just about anyone whom hopes to continue to have two nickles to rub together are now viewing their bedroom as the “Institution of Solvency.” With the mattress becoming their vault.
In as few a weeks separating one scandal after another the latest and greatest taking place across the pond with Barclay’s. We wake to find yet another brokerage firm has collapsed. And what’s missing? You guessed it, the customers money!
Confidence is a very fragile relationship when it comes to money and love. Many things can be forgiven in love, but lose or steal someones money, and no amount of love will save you.
During robust economic times financial losses of any type are taken with a grain of salt because the prospects of earnings or other means lessen the impact. It tough times however, that changes from a forgiving nature to outright damnation. This may be one of those rare moments where the term “This time it’s different” just might apply. What’s different will be trust and confidence. They’ll be none. What’s not different? When this happens the impacts can move from transitory to generational. We may be witnessing this paradigm shift as when people whom lived through the 1920’s and 30’s never trusted a bank again and taught their kids not to either. The industry as a whole has no one but themselves to blame. The way they have handled the public relations front with the ducking, and dodging of accusations with legal ease rather than having the ability to be honest and forthright with empirical evidence in their tone of no wrong doing will now crush all they gained over the decades. Today I would not want my nieces or nephews to become bankers or work on Wall St. Recently I would have advised them against a reality show. Now, what channel and time slot? Because compared to the former, the latter seems to have more integrity.
All one hears or reads from anything related to the financial industry are reams of paperwork and advertisements laced with terms and statements such as: Integrity, trust, clients first, safety, reputation, and on and on. But that’s all turned into; “Sorry, but under advise of counsel I have to invoke my constitutional right under the 5th amendment.” I don’t know about you, but I didn’t read that line in any fine print I was sent in a sales pitch. Did you? But that sure seems like the line du jour of late.
Once people switch from the mindset of “a return on their money” to “a return OF their money” no amount of PR is going to change it. You’ve lost the trust factor, confidence will not return. With more scandals breaking in what appears to be a daily fashion, many younger eyes might become uncomfortable viewing hidden smiles and winks by their elders as they look at their bedrooms.
Just how old they’ll be before they understand that when their elders were grinning or smiling at the mattress, it had a whole different meaning than theirs.
© 2012 Mark St.Cyr