Dorothy Crenshaw February 23, 2009 | 09:18:18

Truth and Consequences

Transparency and honesty are good things, right?  They build trust, and trust engenders loyalty.  But, here’s a dilemma.  What happens when telling the truth makes the situation worse?
Case in point:  President Obama cautions that a full economic recovery could take years, and the market shudders.  Senator Dodd refers to bank nationalization, which most experts believe is inevitable to some degree, and it takes a dive.

The market runs on emotion, and the current financial crisis is so complex, and market conditions so fragile, that what would on any other day be called straight talk is precarious today.  So, a little sugar-coating is called for, right?

Wrong.  Even the President’s soaring words that the stimulus package marks “the beginning of the end” of the crisis didn’t help matters; in fact, it seemed to breed cynicism.  When the chips are down, honesty’s the most direct path to building long-term trust.