John Engen, American Banker, April 29, 2020


It can be “very dangerous to extrapolate success in one smaller crisis” to a global pandemic, said Davia Temin, chief executive of crisis management consultant Temin and Company.

Katrina roared in with fury, leaving millions of people homeless and without electricity, then left. Banking was done on card tables with paper IOUs, but at least life still went on elsewhere and the path ahead was somewhat clear. It was, in many ways, a unifying experience.

COVID-19’s descent was more like a slow, rolling wave, creeping in stealthily from a distance. The physical infrastructure is fine, but the sense of uncertainty and isolation from social distancing promises no short-term exit.

“The situations are totally different,” Temin said. “You might have an idea about how to approach things, but generally God and the devil are in the details, and those details are never the same,” she said. “If you make a misstep, it could be difficult to disentangle yourself from those decisions.” […read more]