Are today's volatile global markets more dependent on trust than ever before?

yesteryear's town stock markets did not require tough scrutiny from independent regulatory bodies. Company directors acted knowing that their investors lived close by and could easily hold them to account for any wrong-doing.

Today's global stock markets rely on high-levels of regulation dealing with how companies operate and report their results. There is still trust, but trust more in a sometimes unfathomable system of checks and balances rather than in company directors and observable track record.

Increasing market volatility should cause us to step back and consider whether we value companies in a meaningful way.

Are we right to allow our analysts to give undue weight to exploiting market trends? Can investors better use publicly available knowledge about firms?

In the coming year 2008 we may see adjustments made in how we value potential deals and whether trust in people can be made any more explicit to enhance investment decisions and account for stock trends.

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