Magazine article Risk Management

The Economics of Integrity: From Dairy Farmers to Toyota, How Wealth Is Built on Trust and What That Means for Our Future

Magazine article Risk Management

The Economics of Integrity: From Dairy Farmers to Toyota, How Wealth Is Built on Trust and What That Means for Our Future

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

THE ECONOMICS OF INTEGRITY: From Dairy Farmers to Toyota, How Wealth Is Built on Trust and What That Means for Our Future

by Anna Bernasek

When you pour the milk on your morning Cheerios, do you ever stop to think about just how many people are involved with making sure that milk got safely from the cow to your refrigerator?. How about when you make a withdrawal from the ATM? Do you ever consider the complicated path of transactions that need to occur in order to get the cash from your account to your pocket? More than likely, you don't. Yet these transactions, and many like them, require us to trust that complex networks of people will perform their jobs responsibly so that we can have milk that won't make us sick and crisp $20 bills on demand.

In order to be successful, these systems are dependent on one simple, but often overlooked quality: integrity. It is the assumption that lies at the foundation of our entire economy. Without trust we would have no incentive to conduct business with anyone--there would be no assurance that any product or service would be worth buying. …

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