Trust Digest 33 (December 18, 2013)

Bernanke Says Fed Legitimacy Depends on Public Communication
The Federal Reserve must clearly explain its decisions to Americans and convince them that the policies are in their interest, Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Monday without specifically discussing monetary policy or the U.S. economy.
Key Words: Legitimacy, Independence, Transparency
Trust Issues: Benevolent Concern, Communication

Improving Health by Building Trust
According to the latest General Social Survey, Americans trust each other a whole lot less than they did when the poll was first taken 40 years ago – only about one-third of the population. Experts say this is having an adverse effect on everything from the way our government runs to our health. The good news, however, is that we have the collective capacity to reverse this trend.
Key Word: Distrust
Trust Issues: Benevolent Concern, Communication

Corruption Threatens Obama Action on For-Profit Colleges
In the past five years Americans have become increasingly aware that many for-profit colleges -- the career training schools that advertise all over TV, the Internet, and city buses -- are engaged in systematic fraud. These schools have been caught luring students with false promises about the cost of programs and the value of degrees -- and then leaving them unemployed and deep in debt.
Key Words: Fraud, Corruption
Trust Issues: Accountability, Responsibility

Bitcoin’s Digital Deception
Bitcoin has lots of mystique, it’s high-tech, it’s very complicated, it’s anonymous, and it’s run by a network of decentralized computers that are located around the world. The believers want you to think it’s the next big “currency,” like gold or PayPal. It is like neither. A computerized IOU chit with no central oversight authority, bitcoin has all the makings of a high-tech Ponzi scheme.
Key Words: Ponzi Scheme, Digital Currency
Trust Issues: Accountability, Responsibility

The Best Way for New Leaders to Build Trust
In leading various companies over the years, one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is that establishing trust is the top priority.  Without trust, it is very unlikely you will learn the truth on what is really going on in that organization and in the market place. 
Key Words: Establishing Trust
Trust Issues: Communication, Integrity, Ethics

Push for "Non-Transparent" Active ETFs Gains Steam
Exchange-traded funds have traditionally been touted for their transparency, with their portfolio holdings disclosed daily. But the push for a new breed of ETFs that can hide their specific holdings for months at a time is gaining momentum.
Key Words: Transparency, Opaque ETFs
Trust Issue: Competence

Lies, Damn Lies and Metrics: Why Metrics Should Be Used Sparingly to Improve Performance
Anyone familiar with large organizations has probably heard the phrase “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.”  For most of my management and consulting career, I took this as a truism.  Not any more.  This is not to say that metrics have no role; far from it. However, leaders should use them sparingly and consider alternative motivational tools.
Key Words: Motivational Tools, Metrics
Trust Issues: Values, Integrity, Ethics, Communication

“Corporate Social Responsibility” Reports in China: Progress or Greenwashing?
Over the past decade, an increasing number of Chinese companies have begun to produce corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports. Whether that’s led to more sustainable business practices is an open question.
Key Words: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Reports

Trust Issues: Accountability, Responsibility, Integrity, Ethics

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