The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2020 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Responsible finance: Trump’s Kodak moment

By clinging to the rhetoric of protecting fossil fuel jobs, Trump is helping no one.

Helen Avery ESG 1920px.jpg

“They want no oil and gas,” US president Trump said of the Democrats on the opening night of the Republican National Convention, sandwiched between: “They want no guns”, and “They want no God”. On closing night he elaborated: “[Democratic nominee for President, Joe] Biden has promised to abolish the production of American oil, coal, shale and natural gas, laying waste to the economies of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico – destroying those states, absolutely destroying those states, and others. Millions of jobs will be lost, and energy prices will soar.”

Watching his insistence on oil and gas, I was reminded of Kodak. In 2001, Kodak bought digital photography website, Ofoto (rebranded to Kodak Gallery). By 2008 Kodak had 60 million customers, yet by 2012 it was bankrupt. Why? Because the firm made 80% margins on film, and a new business model with a different ramping rate and nowhere near that profitability initially just couldn’t convince the senior executives to make the shift, so digital remained considered a side business. 


Take out a complimentary trial

Take out a 7 day trial to gain unlimited access to and analysis and receive expertly-curated updates direct to your inbox.


Already a user?

Login now


We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree