Deutsche Post and trust in Germany

German companies are the most trusted in the world and yet Germans are the least trusting of their own institutions including business. Maybe German opinion formers were better informed given the current Deutsche Post scandal. The CEO has offered to resign and has been questioned by police and there could be between 200 and 800 other firms to be investigated (depending on who you believe) for tax evasion. Long term this is good for Germany and the rest of us in Europe could probably take a leaf from their book. The ‘perp-walk’ is not uncommon in America where CEOs and board directors go to jail and face personal fines for corruption. A rare thing in Europe and one of the reasons I believe that the institution of business is less trusted here than in America. This very public spotlight on business leaders who do wrong is bad for trust in business short-term, but long-term it’s much better than the usual European slapped-wrist-behind-closed-doors approach. Here’s Cornelia Kunze, Edelman’s GM Germany on this scandal.

Link: Video on

[tags] Cornelia Kunze, Edelman Trust Barometer, Edelman Germany, Deutsche Post Scandal, Trust [/tags]

David Brain


  1. David – you might want to read the Global Corruption Report from Transparency International for details about how the German judiciary has failed to stamp out corruption.

    It is an open secret that wealthy Germans are among the worst tax evaders in Europe. It is so rife that when it became known the Spanish government was handing over tax details of German residents, it led to a flood of sales of high value villas on the Costa Blanca. Especially around the Denia area. I was living there at the time. It had an impact on the local market.

    What we’re seeing is a lot of FUD. The German tax authorities have had enough and are going after big targets. It’s also happening in the UK, hence the talk about non-doms leaving the country. All the rest is just…dare I say…PR.

  2. The PR part here is actually quite important Dennis. The pictures of CEOs being walked off by Police will affect more reform than any investigation. The Spanish angle is v interesting, thanks.

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