The current financial crisis is a serious situation because it affects the foundation of the banking system: trust.
In most cartoons, the image of a bank is that of a safe behind bars, protected by security guards. This concept represents the essence of a bank, a place you trust to keep your money. Trust is so important that in a bank, all decisions are based on the impact that the decisions will have on the bank’s reputation.
Many years ago, banks realized that they could lend money in return for an interest rate.
You arrive at home after a long day and you rush to prepare food. You turn-on the burner but oups !, you realize that you activated the wrong burner. You feel frustrated and tell yourself “I should have paid more attention”. If it is a new stove, you might tell to yourself “I should have look at the instructions”. Some might even blame themselves for this error.
In September 2006, a bridge collapsed in Laval (a Montreal suburb), resulting in 5 deaths. An inquiry, the Johnson commission, is trying to understand this event and prior incidents.
As always, multiple factors are involved in this accident: bad design, shoddy construction, poor repairs and substandard construction materials. These factors are always boiled down to human errors: a design, planning, executions or maintenance errors.