Friday, September 12, 2008

Is there nothing sacrosanct any more?

... Nothing, going by the state of the US financial markets.

There was a time, not so long ago in the past, that names like Bear Stearns and Lehman were to be uttered in hallowed terms. Brands that were meant to be looked up to, and trusted - particularly in an industry where trust is everything and everything is trust.

When BS went down, seemingly overnight to outsiders, I bet quite a few were shaken. Then rumors floated to an imminent Citi collapse, which it seems to have weathered. Now Lehman seems to be heading down that path: Bankers say Lehman approaching rivals for lifeline.

On a broader perspective - brand names are supposed to 'stand' for something, an indication of a set of role-model behavior, in some sense repositories of societal trust. After such news, what really is sacrosanct trust?