Solutions for Self-Reliance

Resilient Communities are Based on Trust

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Simple lesson in today’s post.  Resilient communities are based on trust.

Here’s what happens when trust isn’t something that is considered important.

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Everyone knows that a MAJOR reason for the financial crisis that kicked off our current economic depression (US/EU) was caused by widespread banking fraud.

In fact, there was so much fraud going on in the industry by so many people and firms, that the US government intervened to mitigate the damage.  At the urging of the banking lobby, it negotiated a settlement with the industry.  The feds then pressured all of the state governments to sign on (49 of 50 have signed on already).

What was the settlement?

Given that the terms were written by the financial industry’s lobby, the settlement terms were entirely financial.  By taking the money, the feds and the states promised not to bring criminal charges for fraud, forgeries and document fabrication.  So, how much money are we talking about?

Only $2,000 per fraudulent loan (see this excellent analysis for more).  Or 1% of the average loan amount.   It gets even worse.  The banks found a way to pay only 1/5 of that amount, or $400 per loan.  The rest is coming from investors.

It’s pretty clear that with this settlement, the US government has now made a major step towards becoming a kleptocracy.  It has told financial institutions that criminal fraud only costs $400.  Pay it and you can walk free.

Wow.  Nothing points to economic collapse like corruption on this scale.  This entire failed system is based on ZERO trust.

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So why does this story belong on the resilient communities site?

It’s to remind you that a resilient community isn’t only about material things.  It’s about TRUST.

A resilient community scales down human relationships to a level where we we can build trust.

It’s an environment where we can expect trustworthy behavior from others in return for our own.

It’s a refuge from the insanity of a system that is about to generate a globe sized smoking hole (the term for what is left of an airplane that hits the ground at a high rate of speed).

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