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UBS Will Not Make An Ass Of You And Me (Shareholders? Maybe)

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UBS announced its first quarterly loss in nearly five years today, rendering frowns on those Nazi-sympathizers’ faces that even a few anti-Semitic jokes couldn’t turn upside down, which means it must be really bad. The “unquestionably disappointing” $720 million net loss, which overshadowed record earnings in the wealth management operation, was blamed on that $4.4 billion writedown due to subprime issues and the fact that no one knew what was going on at the investment bank.
Unfortunately, UBS just recently fired a CEOi—Peter Wuffli—, and can’t very well make the only 4-month old Marcel Rohner the scapegoat in this situation (unless of course they’ve been dared to do which case-- watch out, Rohner). Managing expectations of what the bank is capabale of (probably so that it can later be said that they “beat analysts’ expectations” and be rewarded for what, to the naked-eye, looks like just plain failure), UBS commented that “[Although] the fourth quarter has started with good results from all businesses, including the investment bank…UBS is not assuming that the quarter will continue as positively as it has begun or that the current difficulties will be resolved in the short term.”
UBS' Swiss Miss [NYP]
UBS to launch reporting season with losses and a warning [Times Online]