As I locked the front door I realised just how much we have to trust our fellow human beings. The door is heavy and substantial and like most doors it can be broken down. Most of us are not protected by armed guards, security scanners and numerous devices; most of us rely on a door, a lock and the goodwill of those that live around us to keep us safe.
This reliance, which is a reliance on trust (whether we want to trust or not) is a feature of not only our personal security and the security of our possessions, but also the security of the fruits of our labour – our money.
We have to trust those that guard our money unless we turn our money into possessions. We have to trust those that advise about our money and the government whose job it is to ensure as far as possible that our money is protected from the rapacious attentions of thieves.
Governments do this poorly; those that offer to look after our money have all the cunning and deviousness of burglars and thieves. I recent years governments have done a poor job in safeguarding the fruits of our labour, which has meant in many cases we have had to labour longer and harder to retain a little of what we have earned.
In the final analysis, the bankruptcy of large financial institutions has been made almost solvent by the pensions and labour of the ordinary people. It would have been safer to rely on the goodwill of ordinary people; certainly some money would have been stolen but much less would have been stolen than the banks have managed to steal.
A stout door is better protection than the devices of the financial markets.