Greece badly needs a bailout from the stronger economies in Europe but the finance ministers in these countries seem to have grown skeptical of the commitments coming from Athens. Ministers vented their frustration in public as well. “We cannot live with a system where promises are made and repeated and repeated and implementation measures are from time to time too weak,” said Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg, who chairs meetings of the 17 euro zone finance ministers.

The response to exchange and interdependence with a low trust party, in this case another government, is to make the release of bailout funds contingent on Greece fulfilling its commitment to making austerity cuts. In such cases, exchange is possible using contracts and controls to limit vulnerability when there is little or no trust in a relationship. This is what happens when a trustee loses the confidence of stakeholders. Often such a loss of trust is due to saying one thing and doing another (integrity violation), a lack of basic capability (they lack the competence to fulfill promises) or repeated use of deception and guile (a lack of benevolent concern for others). As the Greek interest rate shows, a loss of trust is very expensive!