When faced with a relentless cavalcade of bad news, a top banking executive can either abandon himself to despair or adopt a sunny optimism. For a variety of reasons, they tend to go with the latter, especially the newly-minted variety, as they have the endless stream of scandal and disaster—and a belief in their ability to stop it—to thank for their newfound exalted position.
And so, for the last year, Credit Suisse CEO Thomas Gottstein has been wondering which bit of bad news would be the last, so to speak, before the bank was permitted to fully enter the sunny uplands of prosperity and paucity of court dates. As it happens, that longed-for moment didn’t follow the $450 million York Capital Management disaster, nor the umpteenth intensification of the spying matter, nor the legal defeat on mortgage matters a dozen years old (however relatively well Gottstein was able to pull $80 million out of that fire), nor the criminal charges for allegedly laundering money for the Bulgarian mob. Perhaps the last bad headline would be the revelation of just how slipshod its compliance procedures are, another legacy matter which Gottstein would be only too happy to put behind him and blame on those before him?
Embattled financial startup Greensill Capital plans to file for insolvency in the U.K. this week, as it simultaneously moved toward a deal to sell its operating business to Apollo Global Management…. It was plunged into crisis on Monday when Credit Suisse froze $10 billion in investment funds that Greensill relies upon to do supply-chain finance deals.
The spiraling events are undercutting efforts by Thomas Gottstein to break a losing streak that has marred his first year in office, and raise fresh questions about the bank’s risk taking. Not even two weeks ago, the Credit Suisse Chief Executive Officer signaled he was ready to turn the page after posting the bank’s first quarterly loss in three years on costs to settle legacy matters. This time around, the questions may be harder for Gottstein to dodge because at least some of the issues happened under his watch…. The latest debacle is likely to revive questions whether the CEO has done enough to address the bank’s many blowups. It also adds an element of urgency to a review of the asset management unit that Gottstein started late last year.
But maybe this is the last one? Possibly? Please?
Greensill Capital Planning to File for Insolvency in U.K. This Week [WSJ]
Credit Suisse’s Greensill Mess Spoils Restart for CEO Gottstein [Bloomberg]
Earlier: Credit Suisse Is Gonna Go Ahead And Cut Off Its Greensill Funds, Future Legal Liability