Monday, 19 September 2011

UBS: Unbelievably Big Scandal

So the latest news in the UBS saga of blame and avoidance has arrived. The losses attributed to the rogue trader, Kweku Adoboli, have now been revised to $2.3 billion. That's $2300000000.

Kweku now goes by the pseudonym "UBS", meaning "Untrustworthy Bank's Scapegoat"

Apparently, he used the same dodgy dealing system as used by a French trader in 2008. So... they knew about it? They knew that this was entirely possible? They knew how it could be done? They knew the signs to look out for?

No, apparently, it was like "a terrorist attack that was impossible to prevent".

WHOA!! Hang on. The governments of the world, and by world I mean America and Britain, keep on telling us that they're spending billions of amounts of our money every year on national security to PREVENT TERRORIST ATTACKS!! So now they're saying that terrorist attacks can't be prevented? Even when you know exactly what a terrorist will do? And he works for you? And you track every trade that takes place? And he sits at a desk in your office every day?

And I had to take my bloody shoes and belt off at airport security only to find that terrorist attacks can't be prevented?

UBS officials have said, "It wasn't our fault. It was him! He did it! That junior trader in the corner! Get him!"

What they actually said, according to the FT, was...

"The positions taken were within the normal business flow of a large global equity trading house as part of a properly hedged portfolio. The true magnitude of the risk exposure was distorted because the positions had been offset in our systems with fictitious, forward settling, cash exchange traded fund positions, allegedly executed by the trader."

They went on to say that the dilithium crystal matrix was overloaded with tachyon radiation, causing a proton surge and a cascade of negative space time which itself led to a causal interdimensional rift in the quantum antimatter accelerator.

In short, their explanation is designed purely to confuse the hell out of people while they sneak out the back door and all head off to the Cayman Islands.

And the CEO was off sick that day. And anyway, he's an old man and stop picking on him. We're Swiss! We're neutral! Leave us alone! We've crossed all our fingers! You can't get us!

Oswald GrĂ¼bel, the 67 year old CEO, took full responsibility for the problems, as the man in charge and therefore ultimately tasked with overseeing the bank's conduct.

"If you ask me if I feel responsible, then I say no." He said. Later, he added, "My future is not decided by me alone. Ultimately, the buck stops with me." - with his fingers crossed behind his back.

That sounds just like Rupert Murdoch's heartfelt apology to the family of Milly Dowler. "I am so very, very sorry that anyone found out about this."

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