One Step Closer to Victory
One of my favorite movie moments is the presidential address in
Independence Day, the 1996 sci-fi flick starring Jeff Goldblum, Will Smith and Bill Pullman. In a rousing speech, Pullman’s President Thomas Whitmore inspires a ragtag group of pilots to take on an outsized alien threat.
“Mankind, that word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it’s fate that today is the 4th of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom, not from tyranny, oppression or persecution but from annihilation.”
We’re not facing annihilation by any means — and certainly not by an extraterrestrial menace — but it’s an understatement to say that we won’t experience a traditional Independence Day this year. A global pandemic has claimed more than 125,000 American lives and decimated the economy, particularly the hospitality industry. Fireworks shows and county fairs have been cancelled. July 4th barbecues will be small and socially distanced.
The financial industry can’t take out the Covid-19 threat. But like the underdog pilots in
Independence Day, bankers across the country have battled the impossible to meet the needs of their communities. Unfortunately, that work isn’t done. Local economies have only partially and tenuously reopened. Tens of millions are still unemployed. Hospitals are overwhelmed. Minor League Baseball cancelled its season. School will likely look different in the fall.
The unparalleled disruption makes “normal” seem like a distant memory.
Like any good action movie, humanity ultimately wins at the close of
Independence Day. President Whitmore, fresh from his fighter jet, hugs his young daughter. Smith and Goldblum smoke victory cigars.
I won’t be smoking a cigar when it’s over — and it’s not over yet — but we’re one step closer to victory.
/ vice president of research for Bank Director