The Value of Trust

"A series of revelations of corporate malpractice and number fiddling" have destroyed investor faith in Wall Street, reports the Economist. "Investors have not only lost patience with corporate America's greed and its inability to do what it says it is doing; they have also lost confidence in Wall Street's ability to act as an honest broker between them, the providers of capital, and the corporate users of it. 'There is an air of cynicism surrounding every institution that underpins our capital markets,' says Stanley O'Neal, co-head of Merrill Lynch, an investment bank that recently paid $100 million to settle a lawsuit over the integrity of its analysts when the Internet hype was at its peak."