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Saturday, June 22, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Distrust This

You know what the real problem in the world today is?

Too much trust.

Trust me, it's true.

If we hadn't put so much trust in others, we could have avoided all sorts of problems.

The first thing we should do about it is do away with credit.

Credit is the reason we got into this economic mess. All those bad home mortgages were extensions of credit. No credit, no crisis.

And what was all the credit based upon?

Trust. continued

People walked into banks, were told they could afford loans, and took on huge mortgages.

Years later they got to sue banks for telling them they could be trusted.

And now the second wave is hitting the litigation shore. Lawsuits are pouring in from people who say they trusted their banks when they said they'd modify their loan mortgages. So they didn't make a payment, the loan wasn't modified, and the bank foreclosed.

I'm assuming the defense response to these suits is going to be: "How could you reasonably trust us? Would you have needed a loan modification if you hadn't trusted us in the first place?"

The names of many financial institutions will be changed from Bank & Trust to Bank & Beware.

The trust issue, of course, goes both ways. If a lot of bankers hadn't trusted people to repay loans or trusted the guys they sold the loans to to absorb losses, this wouldn't have happened either.

Trust just gets in the way.

When you think about it, trust is the cause of most litigation. You couldn't sue a doctor or a lawyer for malpractice if you hadn't trusted them to do the job right in the first place. You couldn't file a products liability suit if you hadn't expected the product to work.

The "malpractice crisis" would go away if professionals just told everyone not to trust them.

And how about all the trust put into penis enlargers and Nigerian bank accounts?

Trust is clearly bad.

The simple solution is to operate on yourself, raise crops in the backyard, buy a cow and some chickens, and stay home. But there's a problem with that - can you trust yourself?

Obviously not. We need specialists even though they can't be trusted. So the thing to do is create one large fund to cover losses of all kinds caused by everyone who lets us down even though we should know we're going to be let down.

Of course we won't be able to trust whoever administers the fund. That's only logical and fair.

And now, you're thinking, why should I trust you, unseen column writer, when you tell me not to trust anyone?

You can't.

BANK ON THIS TRUST. Here's a new concept from a recent lawsuit: "high-low" posting. A bank, allegedly of course, looks at the checks you've written and pays the biggest ones first so that you'll run out money more quickly and more checks will bounce. Hence, allegedly, more overdraft fees.

So you can trust banks - to charge as much as possible.

It kind of makes me feel secure.

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