Americans Lose Faith in Pretty Much All Big Organizations, Especially Banks and Corporations

The Financial Times reports on an international poll by the consulting firm Edelman to be presented at Davos on Wednesday on public trust in various types of institutions. The interesting finding is that Americans are becoming less confident in all types of organizations, which is contrary to the trend in most other nations, where perceptions are rising.

And perhaps most important, the poll was of people most likely to have a favorable view of the current power structure, namely, 5000 well schooled, wealthy and “well informed” participants (does “well informed” mean they read the oracles of orthodox opinion, like the Economist and the New York Times?). If the people who are likely to be beneficiaries of the status quo aren’t too happy with it, imagine what the average Joe thinks.

From the Financial Times (hat tip Joe Costello):

Just 46 per cent of Americans last year said they trusted business, down eight points from 2009, according to research by Edelman, a communications consultancy, which will be presented on Wednesday. Global trust in business was up two points to 56 per cent, by contrast.

The US decline has been driven by a backlash against bankers and their bonuses, with the number of Americans who trust US banks dropping to a low of 25 per cent, down from 33 per cent a year ago and 71 per cent before the financial crisis.

To quote the famous prognosticator Bill Clinton, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

But no one trusts banks much, but we Americans have a better view of them than our peers in the UK and Ireland. So I guess all that Team Obama bank PR really has had an impact on poll readings. I’m sure their masters at Davos will be happy to see what a good return they have gotten on their investment.

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Originally published at naked capitalism and reproduced here with permission.