The House of Gorman has lost some good men to UBS. Read more »
The SEC settled a little crisis-era CDO fraud case with UBS today and the fraud is pretty entertainingly shitty. Basically UBS provided the warehouse for a synthetic CDO where the notorious ACA was the collateral manager, and the disclosed deal was that, when the CDO closed, it would enter into (as protection seller) any CDS contracts that UBS had entered as part of the warehouse at (1) the market price of those CDS or (2) the price UBS had received for them as initial counterparty, whichever was more favorable to UBS.1 Now right there you’ve got some optionality and room for fuzziness, and you could imagine various unpleasant schemes where, for instance, UBS cherry-picks some contracts to transfer at market and some at historic price, or where UBS mis-marks some contracts to get a better deal when it transfers them.
But the actual scheme was simpler and dumber: Read more »
UBS is selling its over-the-counter commodity derivatives portfolio to JPMorgan, prompting John Carney to say this:
Here’s a good rule of thumb. When one bank buys a business from another bank, it’s almost always a case of regulatory arbitrage. It’s never really because of synergies or managerial talent or whatever other hokum the media relations churn out to their willing dupes in the press. It’s just about one bank being better able to take advantage of the rules.
So even though the rationale for JPMorgan Chase buying the over-the-counter commodities derivatives business of UBS remains mysterious, you can safely surmise this is regulatory arbitrage. Most likely, it’s got to do with capital requirements.
Umm maybe? I don’t know, this question seems a little over-determined; the thing is that pretty much everyone thinks that (1) JPMorgan is pretty good at running an investment bank, the occasional hiccup aside, and that (2) UBS is pretty crap at doing so. So are US regulators relatively more comfortable with JPM managing this portfolio than Swiss regulators are with UBS doing so? Sure, probably, but probably so are the respective shareholders, and counterparties, and senior managements, and anyone else you might ask. Really moving any portfolio of anything from UBS to JPMorgan is probably Pareto optimal.
U.S. District Judge Has Good News And Bad News For Former UBS Employee Convicted Of Muni Bid-RiggingBy Bess Levin
The bad news: Peter Ghavami is going to spend some time in prison. The goods news: it’s way less than the 21 years prosecutors were hoping for. So that’s something! Read more »
Sent: Monday, July 15, 2013 3:07 PM
Subject: Relationship inquiry: Francis Ford Coppola Read more »
It’s been a tough few months (years, really) for our neutral friends. There’s the LIBOR thing, the nobody wants to work here thing, the cutbacks, the “bitch set me up” thing, the petty vandalism thing, the ongoing tax evasion (formerly one of its chief businesses) thing, the mortgage-backed securities fraud thing, the Facebook proving you have no business being in the equity capital markets thing, the casual anti-Semitism thing, the paying people in high-trigger CoCos thing, the rogue trader losing $2 billion thing, and then, last month, this slap in the face.
And while UBS certainly cannot give as good as it gets, it has evened the score with BriMoy and the rest of the Charlotte bullies. Unfortunately, this has done very little to actually make UBS more money, but it knows how to do what it needs to do to have it make it more money. Read more »
Employees of the brokerage firm were (allegedly!) rewarded by UBS for a job well done (i.e. helping the Swiss bank Libor). Read more »