“You can’t get fooled if you never trust anyone.” That’s what my grandma used to tell me. She grew up in the depression. Dead now. Been dead a long time. Drank and smoked a lot, she and my step granddad. Smoked so much the walls of their living room were yellow. Both died pretty young. But, they didn’t get fooled. My step granddad, Neil, worked in a bank. Liked paperwork a lot.
“You get a man’s signature on piece of paper and you’ve got something you can depend on,” he’d say. “Verbal promises are just a bunch of hot air.”
He never got very far in life, Neil. What with all that paper he had to attend to. Mohammed Younis has built a bank that has seven billion in deposits. Never got one piece of signed paper. Just trusted people. Poor people. In Bangladesh. One of the poorest places on the planet. He has better than a ninety-five percent pay back rate. Far higher than any western bank, especially today. He says, “When I come to the west we can’t have a conversation without having the lawyers agree what you are going to owe if things go wrong. Before we even start. Why define all the ways you can fail before you see if you can succeed?”
I suppose they don’t have Aprils fools day in Bangladesh. Too much trust.