According to the IEEE, a new ‘trust network’ called “Ripple” is the latest and greatest thing that will save this sorry world from financial ruin. Reported breathlessly, without any apparent capacity for critique, the savior of the world is going to be loans guaranteed by relatives and close friends.

Seriously – What rock does this guy who created ‘Ripple’ live under? Has he ever given a loan to a friend? Has he ever given a loan to a relative? Any financial adviser will tell you that such loans must be considered gifts. They are rarely given on the basis of ability to pay. They are given on the basis of need.

There is a reason that loan officers aren’t allowed to give loans to friends or relatives. D’oh. Come on guys! Has the IEEE lost its wits entirely?

The most laughable part of the article comes at the end,

“Imagine if you had to phone up your friends and ask them to pay up on a $100 balance. I could imagine that could create some awkwardness,” says Gothill. “But then if you can’t rely on friends to build a network, what are you going to rely on?”

Uh, yeah. No shit sherlock. A little awkwardness. You see, all your ‘friend’ has to do is hang up or throw a hissy fit or a crying jag. Trust me. I’ve been there. I am what is known as a ‘soft touch’.

But – there could be a benefit to this system. It could be a great way to expose what not-friends you really have.