How Much of Finance Industry’s Problems Lie in Perception?


Is the near collapse of the U.S. financial system something that can be remedied in part by communications? Edelman CEO Richard Edelman thinks so.

Edelman believes that all business is “affected by the negative perceptions of Wall Street,” and that, “it is necessary for bankers to understand the need to explain the ‘how and why’ of specific financial instruments (eg credit swaps) and the benefits of their activities. There is also public demand for shared sacrifice; the risk of populist backlash at the end of the year is substantial given that 2009 bonus accruals at Goldman Sachs are now at 2007 levels.”

BNET’s Alain Sherter disagrees. “It’s no doubt smart PR to try to pin these negative perceptions on reliably unlovable traders and investment bankers,” he said. “But such distortions mask a deeper reality…One of those realities is that the problem in financial services isn’t a matter of perception.”

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