UBS Takes A $5.1 Billion Write-Down

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If you didn't get the message from JP Morgan's $1.5 billion write-down that the carnage on Wall Street is not over, UBS trumpeted it from the Swiss Alps this morning with the announcement that it had written down another $5.1 billion in mortgage loans and other debt instruments. For those keeping track at home, the global write downs from the credit crisis now amount to around $500 billion.
UBS also said it is backing off plans to integrate its three main business units, wealth management, asset management and investment banking. This move is widely understood as a reaction to pressure from US regulators and lawmakers who have charged the Swiss bank with aiding clients in tax dodges. Giving the units more autonomy may be the first step in spinning them off entirely, a move that might allow UBS to continue its investment banking business in the US if lawmakers continue their chase after its wealth management unit.

UBS Losses Greater Than Expected
[New York Times]

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