“We cannot direct the wind,but we can adjust the sails.”
IN THE TIME OF THE Roman Empire, money changers set up shop in courtyards where they conducted their business on a long bench called a bancu. In Renaissance Florence, business loans were made across a banco, a desk covered by a green cloth. So it was inevitable that the builders of the echoing 19th-century marble temples to Mammon, intent on awing the public as well as their commercial clients, would call their edifices “banks.” And if any single word described the banking process in those days, it was “static.” Bankers were set in their ways.
The 20th century ushered in change that shook up the bankers’ world. Technology in ...