Not everyone would have the balls, but Adobli did and for that he deserved props. Read more »
If you’re looking for a cheerleader, go bark up another tree.
“Say you want to be out ahead of it and give a lot of speeches and talk about all the good we’re doing,” Gorman said today at an industry conference in New York. “And then some trader does some stupid thing like this guy at UBS did and he’s in jail and all bets are off,” Gorman said. He was referring to Kweku Adoboli, the UBS AG trader convicted of fraud this month in the largest unauthorized trading loss in British history…Traders at New York-based Morgan Stanley had too much latitude in the past, “what I call having an outsized sandbox,” Gorman, 54, said at the conference, which was sponsored by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. “Until we can be really confident we’ve got discipline around the sandboxes, I think you have to be really careful not to be holier than thou,” Gorman said. “We’re going to be in the doghouse for a while.”
In Retrospect, Kweku Adoboli Probably Should’ve Taken Down The Whole Bank And Evaded Arrest For A WhileBy Bess Levin
In terms of speaking gigs, do you want to hear from the guy who cost UBS a couple billion or the fugitive who brought it to its knees? Read more »
John DiBiacco Will Never Forget The Day He Told Kweku Adoboli To Cut Risk To Zero, Hours Of Silent Treatment He Received AfterwardBy Bess Levin
In Southwark Crown Court in London, the boyish-looking Mr. DiBacco was cross-examined for more than three hours by Mr. Adoboli’s lawyer, Paul Garlick, whose questions appeared to be aimed at showing the Swiss bank was fully aware of his client’s activities and that his trading was in line with the risk-taking culture in London. Mr. DiBacco was the former global head of synthetic equity trading at UBS and Mr. Adoboli’s boss before he was terminated in January 2012 for failure to supervise. Mr. DiBacco said he disagreed with UBS’s assessment of his performance. Earlier on Friday, a prosecutor, Sasha Wass, focused on the risk limits Mr. DiBacco placed on the London trading desk when he took it over in April 2011. Mr. DiBacco, dressed in a blue pin-striped suit, pale blue shirt and red silk tie, testified that in late July 2011 he telephoned Mr. Adoboli while on vacation in Colorado and ordered him to cut the risk in his trading book. Mr. DiBacco said he remembered the conversation with the trader “very clearly’’ because he was speaking on the telephone in front of his girlfriend who was “not particularly pleased’’ that he was talking about markets and risk while on vacation. “Shut everything down,’’ Mr. DiBacco said he told Mr. Adoboli. “I want no risk.’’ [Dealbook]
UBS Encouraged Kweku Adoboli To Develop Other Interests Outside Rogue Trading, Which It Condoned, Says Lawyer/Old BossBy Bess Levin
Adoboli lawyer Charles Sherrard said the bank became “more aggressive in terms of its desire to make profits” in 2011, while cross-examining one of Adoboli’s former bosses at a fraud trial in London today. “The culture, practice at the bank you were working for, didn’t matter as long as you were making money,” Sherrard said to Ron Greenidge, who oversaw UBS’s exchange-traded-funds desk until April of last year…Greenidge, who worked at UBS for 19 years, said today he was dismissed for gross misconduct because of Adoboli’s trades. He said he felt the bank was making him a scapegoat…Sherrard read out Adoboli’s performance reviews from 2009 written by Greenidge, which said the trader needed a better balance between work and other activities. Greenidge said Adoboli was a “great ambassador for the ETF product” and had outstanding performance that year…The culture at UBS changed with the arrival from Deutsche Bank of Yassine Bouhara in 2010 as the co-head of equities, Sherrard said. Bouhara is no longer at the bank. “The very nature of the bank became more aggressive in terms of its desire to make profit,” Sherrard said to Greenidge. “The mantra was coming from above was revenue, revenue, revenue.” [Bloomberg]
A Lot Of People Saddle Their Employer With Billions In Losses Over A Few Thousand In Personal Credit Card DebtBy Bess Levin
UBS, the Swiss bank, was aware of problems with Kweku Adoboli’s trading five weeks before he was arrested, a court was told on Tuesday. The bank’s back office questioned €3.6bn (£2.9bn) of incorrectly booked trades as early as August 4, Southwark Crown Court heard in the trial of the former trader accused of losing his bank $2.3bn in rogue trades. The trades, normally booked on the same day, remained unregistered weeks after Mr Adoboli made them. Yesterday, the court heard how he himself had lost £123,000 spread-betting through a personal account with IG index. His trading with IG Index prompted two official warnings from his bank bosses after he failed to disclose the account and then failed to disclose individual trades. The court heard on Monday how Mr Adoboli owed thousands of pounds on current accounts and credit cards despite earning £360,000 and was overdrawn and relying on pay-day loan companies when he was arrested. Despite seeing £233,000 pass through his NatWest Bank account in the 12 months prior to his arrest Mr Adoboli’s account was overdrawn by £3,594 when he was arrested on September 15 last year, the court was told. Across his four banks accounts and two credit cards the 32-year-old trader owed £4,181. His primary current account showed payments to eight pay-day loan companies including Wageday Advance, Wonga.com, Payday UK and Pounds to Pocket. [Telegraph]
Reader Poll: What Is The Appropriate Way To Close A Letter Informing Your Employer You’ve Lost It A Couple Billion Dollars?By Bess Levin
“Regards”? “Best wishes”? “Very yours truly”? “Sincerely”? “All the best”? “Love”? ”Again, really sorry”? ”Well I guess I’ll take off now”? “It’s been a pleasure working with you”? “TTYL”? “Keep in touch”? Kweku Adoboli, UBS’s alleged rogue trader, who does sound genuinely sorry for the “shit storm” he brought on the bank, went with “thanks.” Read more »
‘Counterparty’ is such a bandied about term nowadays. So I just, you know, I kinda just don’t use ‘em.By Bess Levin
According to [Crown Prosecution Service's Sasha] Wass, William Steward, an accountant in the UBS back office, “must have felt that he had been hit by a steam roller” after he received an email from Adoboli on Sept. 14 last year revealing his actions. She said Steward had three conversations that morning with Mr. Adoboli about the trades, and wanted to know who the counterparties were. In the email, Mr. Adoboli wrote: “First of all, the ETF trades that you see on the ledger are not trades that I have done with a counterparty as I have previously described…I used the bookings as a way to suppress the PnL losses that I have accrued through off book trades that I made”. [WSJ]
Kind of! Though he doesn’t go to trial until September, the UBS’s rogue trader was granted bail after ten months in jail and a February denial to go home. Naturally, he’s pretty pleased about the turn of events (which allows for sleepovers). Read more »
UBS is sitting on losses that could be as high as $350 million stemming from its investment in the Facebook initial public offering, and is preparing legal action against Nasdaq as a result, people familar with the matter told CNBC … These people said UBS wanted 1 million shares, but when it did not receive confirmations, it repeated the order multiple times and was left with much more than it intended … “Consistent with our policy on market comments on our positions or intra-quarter performance, we are not disclosing the amount of the loss, which is not material to UBS,” UBS said in a written statement. [CNBC, Related: UBS Doesn't Get Out Of Bed For Less Than $50 Billion In Losses]
Poor Sergio Ermotti was having a pretty good day today, with UBS’s stock up and clients more or less happy with the new business plan of “make 180% of your income on DVA and spend 140% of it on comp.” And then this went and happened:
UBS agreed to pay $12 million on Tuesday to settle accusations that it failed to oversee millions of short-sale trades over the last five years.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or Finra, accused the embattled Swiss bank of a “systemic supervisory failure.” The fine is among the stiffer penalties recently paid to Finra, Wall Street’s self regulator.
“The fine reflected broad gaps in their compliance system,” J. Bradley Bennett, Finra’s enforcement chief, said in an interview. “I think it’s very significant.”
Ordinarily it would be hard to get all that worked up about violations of Regulation SHO, the U.S.’s semi-prohibition on naked short selling. And that’s all this is, Reg SHO violations: UBS basically did a lot of shorting without properly locating borrowable stock, leaving them with naked shorts and settlement fails. Not great, but relatively benign for this week (or last week!).