Spin and sound bites. Powerful tools when used well.
Consider a recent JP Morgan example. A class action suit nailed the bank for cheating service members on their mortgages because it failed to apply various applicable rules specific to service members. In court recently, JP Morgan admitted its failure, and "thanked" the class action lawyers. But last summer, JP Morgan’s testimony to Congress did not highlight the class action and instead reads as if JP Morgan found and fixed the problem all by itself. The facts and contradictory statements are all available through this AmLaw story. The Washington Post provides yet another view of the same facts.
Learning from failure has been much the topic lately, including a special issue from the Harvard Business Review. It would be nice to think JP Morgan really would reform itself due to its many failures. Time will tell. For now, JP Morgan’s purported contriteness fees like spin.