Trust is ultimately the most significant aspect of interpersonal relationships. When avarice, lust and all of the other baser (but sometimes entertaining -- usually in reflective retrospect) needs have been addressed and satisfied, it all comes down to "Can I trust you?"
We value trust most of all. It is one of the reasons that friendships develop, people can collaborate in groups, we can engage in commerce, and there can be civilization. Its existence, and the faith that it is there, is what keeps us from pre-emptively killing all of our neighbors for fear that they'll get to us before we can get to them. Trust is the glue of communities, countries and civilizations; and trustworthiness (the quality of having proved time after time that one can be trusted) is regarded as a precious -- perhaps the most precious -- attribute in a person. It is prized more than wisdom.
People put their faith in institutions (i.e., government, banks, etc.), too. This furthers the structure and evolution of society and of empires and civilizations.
We are witnessing a funeral. Without eulogy. Without fanfare. Without closure or a time to mourn. We are witnessing a simultaneous worldwide decline in the level of trust on the part of virtually every sentient member of our species (to some extent) in our Human Institutions. These mighty institutions are not crumbling. They are thriving, albeit parasitically. They show no remorse because they haven't any. And they haven't any need to, either.
Our institutions, which were built by people and which are comprised of people, have become a bestial life-form unto themselves, feasting on what is left of ravaged economies and crippled households. This does not bode well. Read On...
The following article summary appears courtesy of The New York Times:
EXCLUSIVE Thursday, May 2, 2013 10:01 PM EDT
JPMorgan Warned Over ‘Manipulative Schemes’ in Energy Markets
|Government investigators have found that JPMorgan Chase devised “manipulative schemes” that transformed “money-losing power plants into powerful profit centers,” and that one of its most senior executives gave “false and misleading statements” under oath.|
|The findings appear in a confidential government document, reviewed by The New York Times, that was sent to the bank in March, warning of a potential crackdown by the regulator of the nation’s energy markets.|
|The possible action comes amid showdowns with other agencies. One of the bank’s chief regulators, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, is weighing new enforcement actions against JPMorgan over the way the bank collected credit card debt and its possible failure to alert authorities to suspicions about Bernard L. Madoff, according to people who were not authorized to discuss the cases publicly.|
The above looks like a legitimate inquiry, and might even have originated as such, but The Global Futurist Blog predicts, with great certainty, that JP Morgan will probably be fined and convicted (corporately) of some watered-down and off-center offense, a few employees (not from the top, but from the fatty middle to upper management midsection, will be thrown under the bus, i.e., "forced" to resign, with pensions, packages and parachutes intact [remember Scooter Libby? -- this will be similar except no individual will actually be convicted of a crime, so no sentence need be commuted] and will carry on quiet but lush lives).
JP will pay the fine out of ill-gotten gains, and be none the worse for it, and the government and the firm will shake hands and remain friends after the show (for the benefit of the public and a few political careers) is over. The item will then rapidly fade from sight, as if it had never happened.
Here is some slightly older news, but with the same theme, pervasive throughout:
The following article excerpt appears courtesy of SmartBrief, and may be very indicative of the increasing case against trusting in powerful and conflicted institutions which have agendas which cause them to serve multiple masters in multiple ways:
Feds accuse S And P, McGraw-Hill of fraud for MBS ratings
The Justice Department has sued credit rating agency Standard & Poor's and parent McGraw-Hill, saying S&P intentionally understated the credit risk of mortgage-backed securities. The civil case accuses McGraw-Hill and S&P of three types of fraud. McGraw-Hill's share price saw its largest percentage decline in 25 years on Monday. Bloomberg (2/5), Reuters (2/4), Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (2/4)
And one more item that is coming up with increasing frequency in both the mainstream media and in the "fringe media," which latter source is often the first place to look for trends in their infancy [clarification: History has it that a great many of the ideas, subjects, innovations, inventions and things that appear outrageous by the standards of the time, ultimately become the accepted mainstream -- with apologies to Jamie Lee Curtis -- the "New Normal."] which is very disturbing and is happening here in the U.S., but which has already begun its viral spread throughout other industrialized nations in one form or another, reminding me of a well-organized 'Arab Spring':
There is a sea change on a MegaTrend scale taking place quite simultaneously and seemingly spontaneously throughout the industrialized world: The people, be they citizens or subjects have not only lost faith in their respective governments, or perhaps in the notion of 'government' entirely -- they no longer thrust in the motives and integrity of those giant institutions, both governmental and quasi-governmental, upon whom they are dangerously dependent and forced to rely.
Be poised for a major disruption, aided by the accelerant which we refer to as social media - the most precocious and aggressive child spawned of the Internet.
Expect to see this happening in the real-world, in real-time NOW -- in every "industrialized" mature economy and culture (we'll include the U.S., despite its relative youth). And without any signs of abating:
1) Increased arms sales in the civilian economies;
2) Increased government-militia skirmishes;
3) Increased 'nationalization' of private enterprise;
4) Escalating violence, both within nations and between nations;
5) Anti-Internationalist movements;
6) Increasing poverty and underemployment;
7) Thriving of vice-oriented establishments from corner liquor stores to Indian casinos to internet gaming to variations on sexting (text messaging of a sexual nature, with or without video enhancements to drug dealers and traffickers, who will find the best market that has existed since the late 1960s;
8) Thriving of video and virtual reality games, platforms and technologies. Hi-tech escapism;
9) An increasing number of mergers (trans-nationally and internationally) among major media firms;
10) A sharp decrease in the number of well-educated, career-oriented couples having children, and a more-than-compensatory increase in the propensity of less-educated and poorer couples to produce large families.
As always, thank you for reading me, and for sharing my articles with your contacts, comrades and colleagues through your social media portals and platforms. Really. Thank you.
Douglas E. Castle