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Moody's Puts UBS On Downgrade Review Due To "Weakness In Risk Controls"

Tyler Durden's picture


Market sentiment is now instantaneously lurching from one opposite to another with each consecutive headline, infused with the grace of a drunk and high Berlusconi in an American Apparel store: the schizopanic is becoming unbearable for anyone who still has their own money in the market. Futures are closed for 10 more minutes, but since the logical response to this news would be a major drop, we propose that a huge spike in futures will follow on implied certainty that Europe will be forced to pull an "America" and dump several trillion euro in taxpayer funds to recapitalize its banks. And following in America's footsteps, look for the start of Mutual Assured Destruction rhetoric out of Eurocrats as soon as this evening.

Moody's places UBS AG's ratings on review for possible downgrade
London, 15 September 2011 -- Moody's Investors Service has today placed the C/A3 standalone financial strength rating and Aa3 long-term debt and deposit ratings of UBS AG on review for possible downgrade. The short-term Prime-1 ratings of UBS AG has been affirmed. As part of the action UBS Deutschland's long-term rating of A2 as well as its Prime-1 rating was also put on review for possible downgrade.
The primary focus of Moody's review will centre on ongoing weaknesses in the Group's risk management and controls that have become evident again by the events leading to UBS announcing a loss due to unauthorised trading by a trader in its Investment Bank. While the situation is still being investigated UBS currently expects losses in the range of US$2 billion.
Moody's believes that a loss of that magnitude would be manageable for the Group given its sound liquidity and capital position. However the losses call into question the Group's ability to successfully complete the rebuilding of its Investment banking operations. Therefore, the review will also consider the implications such an event could have for management's ability to continue to grow IB revenues in an appropriately risk contained way and the potential impact on profitability of a further setback on this front. In a similar vein, we will also consider the potential implication such an event could have for the reputation of UBS with regards to its Private Banking Clients as well as its Wealth Management Business.
Moody's acknowledges the progress UBS has made in improving its risk management functions since the crisis revealed considerable shortcomings in this area. However, we have continued to express concerns with regards to the ability of management to develop a robust risk culture and effective control framework while at the same time trying to re-establish its position in certain market segments. The events of today suggest that this remains a key downside risk for the Group.
More generally, such losses are also a reminder of the complexity and opacity that is inherent in capital markets businesses. Moody's has commented on various occasions regarding the risks to which such complexity and opacity give rise. We continue to review how best to reflect those risks in bank ratings.
Moody's notes that the review is unlikely to lead to downgrades of more than one notch.


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Thu, 09/15/2011 - 17:57 | 1675042 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture


Will the Euro version of David Tepper please take the stage.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 19:39 | 1675441 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

What good is the downgrade "review" when it is announced after the fact that shareholders lost 10% in a day due to act of 1 trader?


Bring back glass steagall!


Otherwise UBS depositors, shareholders, bailing out tax payers all lose just so that some trader can have a shot at making millions in gambling bonuses.



Thu, 09/15/2011 - 20:33 | 1675647 IQ 145
IQ 145's picture

they won't lose anythng unless they foolishly sell out on a one day panic; which obviously some idiots did; but you can't protect idiots from themselves.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 22:24 | 1675949 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture


IQ 145 is pretty good but obviously you don't have it because smart people don't need to show off their IQ because they know people with higher IQ exist.


good luck supporting banks on ZH

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 20:11 | 1675556 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Reminds me of when Stan O'Neil was made CEO of Merrill and the Muslim went to the white hut.

Seems to have worked out well for Merrill and UBS.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 20:31 | 1675642 IQ 145
IQ 145's picture

Closing the gate after the cattle left. typical.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 17:58 | 1675044 Pegasus Muse
Pegasus Muse's picture

Well then Moodys, why not Goldman? 

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:20 | 1675139 Thomas
Thomas's picture

Why not Wells Fargo?

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:30 | 1675183 Central Bankster
Central Bankster's picture


Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:01 | 1675045 fyrebird
fyrebird's picture

Rogue traders, bitchez!

Wonder how long it takes before it turns out the guy didn't lose $2B, but $2M, and they used the loss excuse to hack off a bunch of other forex losses on his bad luck? Need someone to kill, afterall. And ya can't kill the whole forex team.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 20:03 | 1675516 espirit
espirit's picture

Fight Club / Project Mayhem.

His name was Kweku Adoboli.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:01 | 1675063 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture



Thats funny!

Down Grade due too some idiot?? but not for any of the 1,000 and 1 other reasons?

that is just good ole' fashion quality..

I mean Freedom of Speech!

What institutions would like to retain me? so that I might share my opnion(s), in a non-recourse agreement of course!


I said this earlier but it is worth saying it again!


PEOPLE BAD!! Machines Good! Algo's are your friend's!

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:39 | 1675223 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Yea, 1 fund guy lost $1 billion dollars so the bank must be downgraded, meanwhile on the same day we find the Gubmint has given out $19 billion in unemployment checks BY MISTAKE...all is well in Lunatic USA!

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:03 | 1675069 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

Horses-->gone.  Barn door must be locked.  Barn's back door still wide open.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:04 | 1675070 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

Moody's kickback kitty must be running low...

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:03 | 1675071 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Boggles the mind that such a thing could occur at UBS. A Nigerian? Generally speaking when banks start getting laid low you get this stuff as well. I'm expecting something big vis a vis Greece. This thing is all Germany's fault--they said they had it for 5 billion in December of 09--and now look at it. There is a solution. Clearly someone needs to take deep breath "over there." And solve it.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:04 | 1675075 rocker
rocker's picture

The economy is a shit hole, the world is bankrupt, our markets are bogus, and the banksters are lying again.  Buy, Buy, Buy.

It's the only way hedge funds can make money. Burn the shorts. Because all honest investors have left.

When this is all covered, nothing will be left.

We are "Worse than Japan Now".     

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:18 | 1675131 X.inf.capt
X.inf.capt's picture

im not as sharp as you guys when it comes to the markets, but heres my take...


i think alot of money is coming over the pond, leaving europe, and being invested in the U.S.

mostlyin the bond and stock market, which is why the market is, at least, maintaining....

i dont know, jus my take....

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:28 | 1675173 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Well then the money should come right back out and back to Europe now that theyre announcing all these wonderful bailouts for Europe. I cant believe Im reading people here on ZH who are actually believing 'up we go from here definitely till about December or so', bunch of degenerate gamblers.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:53 | 1675275 X.inf.capt
X.inf.capt's picture

well, dog, i learned along time ago,, if you cant hold it in your hand, dont spend money on it.

these mqrkets seem way too confusing to me, so ill stay away.

i here alot of talk of the dollar being indexed to gold, which usually leads to outlawing private ownership of gold, so, again, ill stay away

i just hope our government will do the right thing and fix this......

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 21:26 | 1675802 Prometheus418
Prometheus418's picture

I heard the same sentiment earlier today from someone- 

Isn't it a logical contridiction to make the statement that you can't trust anything you can't hold in your hand, and then in the next breath, say that you intend to stay away from gold?

Just what is it you think is a better investment if you're looking for a place to store your wealth?  Durable goods are fine and dandy, but a person only needs so much "stuff," and eventually, you run into problems with storage space.

As far as I'm concerned, food stockpiles and the like are just good common sense- at any time, really- but you can't account for everything, and you still need a form of money to fill in omissions that are in even the best laid plans.  So, your options are really PMs or paper currency for that, and the case for the current paper standard having reached the end of it's natural cycle is pretty strong.



Thu, 09/15/2011 - 21:39 | 1675839 X.inf.capt
X.inf.capt's picture

i apologize, 418, my PM are silver dimes, that is what my safehaven is. i believe after todays visit to the coin shop, i have reached my critical mass point. so, i guess i get to start living life again, bust out some popcorn, and watch the fireworks. have fun, boys.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 19:49 | 1675463 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

How dare you call me a gambler!

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 20:37 | 1675660 IQ 145
IQ 145's picture

That's exactly correct, Captain. There's no reason to doubt this. They didn't sell 7.46 million shares of Bank of America today to Granma and Granpa, and likewise for the completely stupid prices bid up for the treasury bonds.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 21:49 | 1675873 X.inf.capt
X.inf.capt's picture

i, in my humble way of thinking, do not believe that was wise of them. our markets will run these guys through a woodchipper, just to extract every dime these europeans have invested, but i maybe overreacting.....

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:22 | 1675145 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Well I hope the shorts are now burned and go away. Im not even 50% believing this 'shorts' excuse anyway, who is really going all in short on Mondays DOW 10,800? Whatever, one thing is certain, its all full retard.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:27 | 1675164 depression
depression's picture

Shorts are gonna get smoked tomorrow, Dow 12,500 here we come !

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:37 | 1675175 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Whatever, check into Gamblers Anon quick.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:33 | 1675202 Central Bankster
Central Bankster's picture

I hope so, Im only got a 1/3 of my short position in at the close today,  I'm expecting 3 more days of rally 1240-1250 max.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 20:39 | 1675666 IQ 145
IQ 145's picture

They're laying on the floor moaning and bleeding from the ears. The "survivors" will get smoked tomorrow, and Monday, and Wednesday, etc.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:27 | 1675170 hambone
hambone's picture

As Trim Tabs sez, there really is no accounting for where the money is coming from....hmmmm???  Sometimes I'm concerned the markets may not be entirely honest.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:40 | 1675233 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Yea whats-his-name at Trim Tabs is always confused and baffled about whats going on...he must trade by gypsy fortune teller or something.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:05 | 1675079 Cassandra Syndrome
Cassandra Syndrome's picture

Moody's downgrade, fitchez...

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:05 | 1675080 doomandbloom
doomandbloom's picture

this is the same risk profile in all banks.....ideally all of them should be downgraded......there are dickheads in all the other banks too

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:07 | 1675086 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

I still want to know if it's socgen that's telling ubs I want my money or UBS telling socgen I want my money.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:11 | 1675103 Trimmed Hedge
Trimmed Hedge's picture

UBS to downgrade Moody's....

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:30 | 1675189 hambone
hambone's picture

Upgrade, downgrade, retrograde, bad grade, fuck-if-I-care-grade-Moodys-gives-anything.


Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:16 | 1675126 spiral_eyes
spiral_eyes's picture


i can't stop laughing 

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:29 | 1675167 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

I hate to be redundant....

UBS SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



....balls in the mouth

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:28 | 1675174 brandnet
brandnet's picture

That was quick!

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:28 | 1675178 TradingJoe
TradingJoe's picture

Futures closed for ten minutes?!? Hellooooooo ?!?!? Someone caught on the wrong side called it in?!?!?! Well American idols are toast :)))! I don't even feel pity for them, you super suckers deserve ITTTTT!

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:32 | 1675199 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

I hope everyone participating in this shit gets burned to a crisp, and soon too.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:41 | 1675242 hambone
hambone's picture


all this is no different than the weather...we may all want a sunny day bout 80 degrees, but it's going be what it's gonna be.  I feel for you brother as this game is so crooked but find some good and joy that is around you...otherwise you will be consumed in the fire.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:29 | 1675179 Haddock
Haddock's picture

Billions of blistering blue barnacles.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 20:43 | 1675680 IQ 145
IQ 145's picture

Seen Tin Tin and Snowy lately?

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:44 | 1675250 jdelano
jdelano's picture

Must be reiterated: "The decision by central banks to cooperate in providing liquidity to europe shouldn't be interpreted as progress in stemming the crisis, it should be read as proof positive that Greece is going to be allowed to default. I believe the announcement will be forthcoming as soon as the swap facility is in place."

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 18:53 | 1675276 painequalschange
painequalschange's picture

I come here for the writing.  That first paragraph is delicious.


Thu, 09/15/2011 - 19:03 | 1675314 hambone
hambone's picture

word - ZH fucks w/ the non-sense others try to peddle as reality.  And since it seems we all gonna go to the wall, we might as well laugh on the way.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 19:03 | 1675316 xtop23
xtop23's picture

Buffett is just trying to make his BoA poochscrew look better by having his company downgrade somebody else

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 19:06 | 1675320 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

Deep Shah

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 20:31 | 1675641 stateside
stateside's picture

I'm at the Toronto Cambridge House Resource Show.  Eric Sprott is here and his Private Wealth CEO said the rumor is that this guy was short GLD and Gold on the Comex and was squeezed to the point that it blew up on him when Chavez asked for his Venezuelan gold back. 


Thu, 09/15/2011 - 22:15 | 1675933 stateside
stateside's picture

Funny UBS hasn't disclosed the asset class that caused the loss.  We heard right away when the rogue nat gas trader got blown up.  Maybe UBS still has more gold losses to unwind? 



Thu, 09/15/2011 - 21:04 | 1675736 xtop23
xtop23's picture

 Jesus man he had to have been levered up like crazy to lose 2bn on that deal

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 21:18 | 1675775 Ye Ye
Ye Ye's picture

Seriously.  Feels like the Swissie is involved somehow, since it moved 1000 pips in 10 minutes, and the big boys get to use 100:1 leverage.  However the "rogue trader" wasn't at a forex desk.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 21:28 | 1675806 Gidas19
Gidas19's picture

Nick Leeson has a follower... Let me guess Adoboli had an 88888 account

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 21:55 | 1675886 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

"No one could have seen this coming," they told the Swiss taxpayers.

Thu, 09/15/2011 - 22:42 | 1675990 karzai_luver
karzai_luver's picture

weak risk controls.......gee ya think.bwhahhhaaa


Methinks the only weakness was in the head of this ebolli dude.


He had to be setup if the risk went bad.


what a tool.


Thu, 09/15/2011 - 22:45 | 1675996 Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

"Risk controls"???? Is that a joke?  In this fucking manipulated market?? The only risk is not paying off the right people. Apparently UBS got fucked in the ass by its own central bank on currency plays.  How fucking sweet is that!!!!!!!! Christmas in September!!

Fri, 09/16/2011 - 00:03 | 1676111 chindit13
chindit13's picture

Put the Swiss Govt Debt under review, too.

Three years after the Great Disintegration, and after a UBS bailout, the UBS internal systems are still so bad that this sort of thing can occur.  When UBS and CS have combined assets higher than the entire Swiss GDP, and have pretty high leverage to boot, putting either of these two goliaths on review has to be a proxy for putting Swiss sovereign debt under review.

The SFr is a safehaven?  Like the yen is a safehaven?

Fri, 09/16/2011 - 03:31 | 1676317 youngandhealthy
youngandhealthy's picture

From time to time I have been "harsh" towards Anglo-saxons....but here is something very good coming out of the UK. The Vickers report. As far as I understand it, its a "modern" version of Glass-Steagall act. Now rest-of-world....ACT!!!

Martin Wolf (FT) says this in todays FT (he "thanks" UBS for the implicit support)

Fri, 09/16/2011 - 04:48 | 1676362 Pretorian
Pretorian's picture

This is what happens when you short Eur/chf together with Goldman. At least Goldman had a balls not to blame some rogue trader as UBS. The PARADOX TO BE BIGGER UBS IS SWISS BANK AND TOOK OTHER SIDE OF POSITION FROM SNB AGAINST ITS OWN COUNTRY jointly with GOLDMAN now you take in your ass..


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