Though American Express is reportedly increasing its earnings and doing better than it was before, the recent economic downtown and financial crisis took a toll on the credit card company. However, American Express has faced many other issues throughout its long-standing history.
Once upon a time, the salad oil aka soybean scandal bankrupted a subsidiary of the company, as Anthony De Angelis managed to swindle millions of dollars from at least 16 companies. American Express Warehousing got themselves in trouble, as they wanted to promote their traveler's checks and signed off and De Angelis's warehouse receipts. It was a situation that could have easily been stopped, had someone anywhere down the line only bothered to check up on the paperwork. You can read the full story at Time.com.
Most recently however, American Express had some trouble in early 2010 with the volcanic ash cloud that covered most of Europe. Apparently, travelers were stranded without a means of returning home for days when all transportation was halted. During a crisis such as this, American Express really stepped up their game plan to ensure that their customers would return home safely and quickly, putting in about 12,000 hours of overtime helping individuals change their travel plans. The crisis was really one of communication, and the company has been revising its plan to ensure a continuous information flow to its customers.