A nagging question looms amidst the long and tortured struggle of American banks to recover their reputations: Will it even be possible in our lifetimes for this industry to woo back its broader public audience, given the damage of the last five years and the persistently negative perceptions that now seem to have semi-permanently hardened?

Perhaps the question is moot. After all, what choice do the major banks have except to keep trying?

Perhaps a more salient question has to do instead with the increments of recovery. How can the banks seize on ongoing events – legal, economic, political – to energize recovery in a strict business sense and to reverse the inexorable tide of public acrimony?

Which events play to its long-term interests? Which are minefields in the Court of Public Opinion?