Insight and investigations from our expert reporters
Emma Thomasson and Edward Taylor tell the inside story of UBS’s turbulent week in today’s second special report “How a rogue trader crashed UBS.”
UBS chief Oswald Gruebel’s decision to resign after the bank said a rogue trader lost as much as $2.3 billion was not just a response to the immediate crisis. It was also an admission that the bank’s latest scandal has effectively undone all his efforts over the past two years to lobby against tougher bank regulations.
The alleged rogue trades have killed any remaining ambitions UBS might have to compete with the titans of Wall Street. They also cast a huge shadow across the entire industry and make tough new regulations far more likely, as the 67-year-old hinted in a memo to staff after he quit. “That it was possible for one of our traders in London to inflict a multi-billion loss on our bank through unauthorised trading shocked me, as it did everyone else, deeply. This incident has worldwide repercussions, including political ones,” he wrote.
After a round of job cuts, the recent events sparked some gallows humor in the banking world. As one senior banker in Zurich put it:
Today’s special report from Detroit, “Crunch time for America’s richest union,” takes a close look at the finances of the historic United Auto Workers union.
Over its 76 years, the UAW has built up a more than $1 billion war chest that has proven to be its big stick at the negotiating table and on the political stage.