The Economics of Integrity
From Dairy Farmers to Toyota, How Wealth Is Built on Trust and What That Means for Our Future
By Anna Bernasek
(HarperBusiness, Hardcover, 9780061774133, 208pp.)
Publication Date: March 2010
Categories: Business Ethics
Why does a single ATM withdrawal take an entire day to process?
What makes Toyota the most trusted car company among consumers?
Why is one-quarter of the world's gold stored in the federal reserve?
Acclaimed journalist Anna Bernasek answers these questions as she takes us on a colorful journey that reveals the deep layers of trust involved in even the simplest of transactions. With examples that range from milk to mortgages, Bernasek shows how integrity is in fact our greatest economic asset; it forms the invisible bedrock of our economy.
As the world emerges from the financial wreckage of 2008, the question facing nations, companies, and individuals is how to create widespread prosperity again. Understanding the roles that trust and integrity play in our daily lives and in the macroeconomy will force us to rethink the way we do business. In this "New Era of Responsibility," Bernasek's message is both essential and urgent. The Economics of Integrity is a book for our times.
“Bernasek’s advocacy of a smart, positive spirit is a worthwhile reminder of the perils of a self-defeating negativism in an era of multiple national crises. In crisp, lucid language she lays out her positive approach.”
“Bernasek delivers an engaging and enlightening journey into the roots of integrity, building a convincing case for why it is the bedrock of our economy. I learned a lot reading this book.”
-Rom Brafman, bestselling author of Sway
“When our businesses and markets operate with integrity we are able to create enormous wealth. Anyone interested in understanding what makes our economy work must have this on their bookshelf.”
-Mark Zandi, Chief Economist, Moody's
“In this fascinating little book, Anna Bernasek shows what delivering milk has in common with financial reform. The common thread? Both need mechanisms to ensure integrity. Her insights will stick with you long after you put the book down.”
-Alan Blinder, Economist and co-director of Princeton’s Center for Economic Policy Studies, former Economic Advisor to Bill Clinton
“In an era of structured finance, nano-technology, and complex business models, Anna Bernasek’s timely, valuable, and highly readable book reminds us that the economy runs on something much more simple: trust.”
-Dan Gross, Senior Editor, Newsweek and author of Dumb Money: How Our Greatest Financial Minds Bankrupted the Nation