Friday, April 04, 2008

Luqman Arnold to UBS

Luqman Arnold's letter to UBS

Now not very exciting what Mr. Arnold has to say, but tell me, why don't the press (at least on the web) point you directly to the original source more often?! is important from a prudential risk management viewpoint to observe that UBS’s leverage as measured by the ratio of total tangible assets to tangible equity doubled from approximately 40x at the end of 2002 to approximately 80x at the end of 2007; and that this leverage has increased again following the recently announced losses. UBS’s reputation has been comprehensively destroyed by proprietary trading activities totally divorced from any client business; the trading strategy exposed the bank to extreme concentration risk based on the single bet that US house prices would not fall.
Personally I think UBS should not sell the Investment Bank, but should absolutely stop any proprietary trading. Of course, there might be some top notch trading going on there that might well be worth spinning off.

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