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As a former small business owner and former manager in one of the companies Mr. George helped lead, I fear big business in general, and the finance industry in particular, is irretrievably broken. This is not on a commentary on his past leadership, which I think did exemplify the business ethics he talks about.

It was once my job to craft messages like the ones he espouses here, and I could do it as long as I thought they were true. But some time in the past couple decades they stopped being the reality across America.

Love of money, not customers, drives business growth at the top today, which is more about buying up/driving out competition and fiercely reducing costs than it is about delighting customers with superior products and great value.

To hope the culture change will come from the financial industry or from large public companies is laughable, and not in a funny way, I'm afraid.