U.S. Bank CEO Tells Biz Leaders to “Get Over It”

Richard Davis told local business leaders at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting that while an economic recovery may take time, businesses should be focusing on and investing in their own operations.

Richard Davis, CEO of Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, on Tuesday gave local business leaders somewhat of a pep talk-using stern language to urge them to keep moving forward despite economic uncertainty.

According to several media reports, Davis-who was recently dubbed Wall Street's new “golden boy” by the New York Post-addressed about 600 businesspeople in St. Paul during the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting, where he told leaders that the economy takes more time to recover from recessions related to financial crises, but business owners have no excuse to be paralyzed.

“Things aren't the way they used to be, people aren't doing things the way they used to. Blah blah blah, get over it,” Davis said, according to Minnesota Public Radio. “I mean, really, like you've never had faith broken before-everything in the world's gone the way it was supposed to, especially in business and economics and politics? Are you serious?”

Davis told fellow business leaders to use negative economic forecasts “to prepare, rather than to be upset,” according to the Star Tribune. He encouraged chamber members to invest in their own businesses and focus on public policies that result in stability and certainty for business planning, as well a skilled work force. He also pointed out that in recent industry surveys, business owners and executives have indicated positive long-term outlooks for their companies. (Twin Cities Business' most recent Quarterly Economic Indicator report found that Minnesota business leaders are optimistic about their own operations, despite growing pessimism over the national economy and government.)

Davis also said Tuesday that fear, loss of faith, and uncertainty are all “really lame reasons to avoid getting up in the morning to do something,” according to the Pioneer Press. He didn't specifically reference his own company or the dozens of protesters outside the building where the meeting was held, who were blaming U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo for contributing to the foreclosure crisis, the St. Paul newspaper reported.

A report by City Pages focused on those protesters-saying that the group of demonstrators outside the chamber meeting represented a division “between the haves and have-nots.” The Star Tribune reported that the demonstrators had rallied to demand that large banks and corporations pay “their fair share” of taxes, create more jobs, and find alternatives to home foreclosures.

Davis is chairman, president, and CEO of U.S. Bancorp, Minnesota's largest bank-holding company and the parent company of U.S. Bank.