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 Cookiesbefore using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 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. 

When I spoke to Ofoto founder Lisa Gransky years ago, she said: “Those running the company thought the shift to digital would be slower, emerging markets would grow with film and that they had time to ramp down the film side of the business while the digital took over – but the shift happened almost overnight.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?