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Eric Peters: Are We Better Off For Knowing The Truth

Eric Peters: Are We Better Off For Knowing The Truth

“Our company will do everything possible to earn and re-earn trust and confidence,” said Boeing’s CEO, humbled, motivated, forced to face the facts. Data from the two 737 Max 8 black boxes had recorded the tragedies with perfect precision. “The goal is to ensure accidents like these never happen again.”

Across the planet, governments, airlines, and passengers had little doubt Boeing will now fix the problem. That’s the beauty of black boxes. They don’t lie. They don’t betray. They hold no allegiances, ideologies. They simply tell the truth.

Of course, speaking truth to power is exceedingly difficult, and the people who do, take great personal risks. Consequently, most are unusual individuals, complicated, controversial. Assange was arrested on the Ecuadorian embassy steps. Poor Khashoggi left his embassy in pieces. Snowden remains exiled in Russia.

Are we better off for having heard their truths? Depends who you ask. Most people only like to hear truths they already hold dear. And many only hear truths from those they like. They reject truths from those they despise, and often embrace deceits from loved ones. 

Which is what paralyses governments when societies become politically polarized. This process is self-reinforcing, driving divided nations toward crisis, conflict. At which point, the overwhelming majority return to their senses, forced to face the black box truth of their undeniable reality.

Understanding central banking is even more complex, because it’s not clear that there is an immutable truth. And financial markets are hardest of all. Because no sooner does something appear unambiguously true, then the collective market conscience betrays the believers.

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