I spent yesterday discussing themes for a major conference in the USA later
My American friend was a bit down on it all … but then that’s not
surprising when Ken Thompson, one of the most respected retail bankers in the
USA until this year, had been asked to step down from Wachovia. Rumours are rife
of a takeover bid for Wachovia from Santander or some other non-domestic bank.
Combine this with the step down of Kerry Killinger as Chairman of WaMu, and
Standard & Poor’s downgrading of Merrill Lynch, Lehmans and other big name
bank stocks, and it’s not been a good week for American banking.
So my colleague was pretty down about the prospects for tradeshows later in
He made it clear that big, strategic themes, such as innovation and
disruptive strategies, were off the agenda. When banks are fighting for
survival, the last thing they are going to think about is big picture ideas.
They want practical ideas to survive.
I must admit, I can understand this mentality, even though I don’t agree with