Over two years ago, we directed readers to polls that demonstrated marked declines in credibility for almost all of our country’s major institutions. See “Public Perceptions” (August 3, 2010), as well as the following charts.
This decline has not gone un-noticed by others, either.
Consider the following missive inviting alumni of the consulting firm McKinsey to register for a webinar on the subject.
On December 11, Managing Director Dominic Barton and Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman Worldwide, will present an exclusive session on the future of capitalism and public trust in institutions. They will review how public trust – in most institutions – has neared all-time lows, and discuss areas leaders should focus on to rebuild trust in their organizations.
Alert readers will undoubtedly connect the dots – the McKinsey offering this webinar is the same firm whose managing director from 1994-2003, Rajat Gupta, was recently convicted of insider trading in the Rajaratnam/Galleon case and sentenced to two years in prison.
Business Week reports that true to form for this sort of thing,
Gupta has been removed from the prominent corporate and philanthropic boards on which he once served and is shunned by business leaders who were once his friends.
But this is less due to Gupta’s actual conduct than the fact that it exposes the extent of the rot, hypocrisy and self-dealing that permeate our so-called political and financial elites.
Readers with longer memories will recall McKinsey’s prominent role in the Enron affair, led by another McKinsey director, Jeff Skilling, who now also resides in a taxpayer-provided facility (and, whose name, like Gupta’s has been struck from the firm’s alumni directory).
We may, over time, be able to rebuild public trust in our country. But the first step will be to recognize that the same people and organizations who got us into this mess are not going to be the ones who get us out.