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What? Chase Card Services CEO, Gordon Smith, says card customers are “doing well.” He must not read his own mail or use the Internet.

An article published by The Arizona Republic suggested, “Credit-card customers ‘doing well,’ CEO says: Head of Chase card unit details credit situation in talk” (Russ Wiles, Nov. 17, 2008).  Apparently the statement was given while Gordon Smith was visiting the Thunderbird School of Global Management’s Glendale campus to deliver a lecture on leadership (which can be seen on YouTube, and was delivered on Nov. 13, 2008).  With all due respect to the article’s reporter, Gordon Smith (Chase Card Services CEO) should probably spend a little more time reading and answering his own mail along with attending to the real issues of leadership (let’s start with the ethical treatment of customers).  This site’s ever-growing list of external links, document that, clearly

All is not well,
All is not swell,
Things are not hunky dory,
Not for many, many Chase cardholders,
Oh no, we’re really, not.

Based on the timing of the reporter’s article, the lecture, and mail delivery, while Mr. Smith was articulating his talking points, printing presses were humming, and soon after automated credit card statement stuffers were whirring away.  He was discussing leadership, while Chase’s workforce was plotting and scheming and subsequently busy inserting the devastating little “You believed us when we promised a ‘fixed rate’ for life?  Well, we lied!  Gotcha!” change in terms notices that are about to wreak havoc and ensure that “Thanks to Chase, ‘almost a million’ people get blown away, financially.”

No, I’m afraid that when a company misrepresents offerings, and purposely employs deceptive marketing methods as a means to increase profits, this is not leadership, Mr. Smith.  Taking bail out money from taxpayers and then refusing to account for that money, is not leadership, Mr. Smith.  Lying to Congress about supposedly providing “opt outs” is not leadership, Mr. Smith.  Unbridled greed is not leadership, Mr. Smith.