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It seems unlikely that Wal-Mart would ever need anybody defending its business practices. However, now may be a good time to start, given the scuffle over whether or not Wal-Mart should open a banking division. As the nation’s largest private-sector employer, Wal-Mart can offer its employees and customers a relatively easy and low-cost way to get to their hard-earned money. Every couple of years another corporation is targeted for its “unfair” business practices, and the corporation typically spends hundreds of millions of dollars in legal costs that are then passed onto the consumer. Microsoft faced this battle over a decade ago as did AT&T a decade before that. Perhaps it would be better to let consumers decide what is working for them and what isn’t. The wisdom of Wal-Mart’s banking strategy should be determined in the marketplace, not the legislature. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.

PACIFIC SECURITY CAPITAL (BEAVERTON, OR) CFO Dan Ferris also assumes the COO’s role to pick up oversight of all core business units. Ferris, the veteran executive, joined the firm in 2004.


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