October 10, 2008


So, here's a funny thing.

According to the World Economic Forum, when people were asked about their nations' financial institutions, the United States ranked 40th of 134 countries. And this was before the crash and incredibly stupid bailout proposal, so you can imagine where it might stand now...

Still, they were four places up on Britain, so it couldn't have been that bad, right? I mean, these are two of the free-est markets, each with First World industries and businesses and business leaders who pushed for those freedoms; so at least they were confident in their nations' banks, right? That is, after all, who's opinion matters when it comes to these things.

Except that's who was asked.

That's right: when business leaders were asked about their nations' financial stability, the countries who ranked highest were:

1) Canada;
2) Sweden;
3) Luxembourg;
5) Australia;
4) Denmark; and
5) The Netherlands.

Yup, those socialist lands that put a stranglehold on economic freedoms had the highest level of trust among financial workers.

When purchasing power was included, the United States shot to the top, of course. In fact, the U.S. dominated in far more categories than Canada did - we only managed top marks in "computer use" and, stereotypically enough, "trustworthiness"; while the States were first in venture capital availability, university-industry research, marketing (natch), domestic market, and other factors.

But what I find so interesting is that simply having the power and economic clout to be powerful didn't translate into a feeling of trustworthiness among the very people who used those political freedoms.

I wonder if that's changed at all?


posted by Thursday at 9:48 pm


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