Economic uncertainty notwithstanding, it's safe to make one blanket statement about U.S. banks' spending on information technology: It doesn't go down. Or at least it hasn't declined for the past 25 years or so, give or take a couple.

For nearly as long, one could say the same of large banks in Europe and the Asia/Pacific region. And while Latin American bankers came late to the game, their IT initiatives have been astute in recent years, especially in light of the region's diversity of markets and equally diverse infrastructure challenges.

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