Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Duh why didn't GIC buy Berkshire or Apple?

Duh why didn't GIC buy Berkshire or Apple?

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - UBS AG's largest shareholder supported former chief executive Oswald Gruebel's strategic plan for the bank and believed he could have stayed on to manage it through the latest crisis, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.

The faith of Government of Singapore Investment Corp Pte Ltd, the bigger of the city-state's two sovereign wealth funds, in UBS's departed CEO underscores the complexity of Gruebel's resignation and reveals the extent to which a variety of internal and external factors, including political pressure, played a role in his exit.
Gruebel resigned over the weekend as UBS management grappled with a rogue trading scandal that cost the bank $2.3 billion and prepared a plan to steady the struggling bank.

GIC's support of Gruebel until the very end also shows that while his leaving may have satisfied some shareholders, it hardly reassured the Singapore fund, which owns 6.4 percent of the bank.
"GIC believed he had good plans," said the source, who added that GIC was concerned about what the leadership changes would do to the bank's future strategy.
GIC declined to comment. UBS was not immediately able to be reached.

Gruebel met with GIC's chief investment officer Ng Kok Song last week when he was in Singapore for the meeting of the executive board and the board of directors, the source said. The 67-year-old Gruebel resigned on Saturday saying he was taking the blame for the scandal.
"Gruebel succumbed to Swiss national pressure," added the source, who was not authorised to speak publicly about the matter and therefore did not want to be identified.

The pressure would have made it difficult for Gruebel to implement his plans, the source said.
The Swiss parliament had piled pressure on the nation's biggest banks in the wake the rogue trading, as a center-left party pushed for a ban on risky investment banking and a plan to raise capital requirements passed the lower house.
Social Democrat lawmaker Susanne Leutenegger Oberholzer narrowly failed to get enough support for her proposal to reopen debate on tough new capital measures for UBS and Credit Suisse so that a ban on investment banking could be added.
The source did not provide details on Gruebel's strategy, but sources had told Reuters last week that the former CEO had pushed for an 'integrated bank" model which meant investment bank would be part of the business.
The source said the investment bank could help facilitate the core wealth management business of the Swiss bank.
GIC's UBS investment is currently worth around 2.5 billion Swiss francs ($2.86 billion).
The sovereign wealth fund has lost about 77 percent of its 11 billion Swiss franc investment in UBS made at the end of 2007, excluding dividends, according to a Reuters calculation based on UBS filings.
The Singapore sovereign wealth fund, ranked as the world's eighth-largest with an estimated $300 billion in assets, has been reducing its exposure to the developed market due to long-term concerns about the U.S. and European fiscal deficits.
GIC cut its holdings of shares in developed markets to 34 percent of its portfolio from 41 percent in the fiscal year to the end of March, its annual report shows
GIC also owns 3.86 percent of Citigroup even after selling half its stake in the U.S. bank in 2009. GIC officials will meet with Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit later this week as the U.S. bank holds its board meeting in the city-state.
The source reiterated GIC's recent stance that UBS was a well-capitalised bank with a strong private wealth management business, a signal that the sovereign investor was not preparing to sell out of its holding.
GIC is not interested in a seat on the UBS board, the source said, adding it is not a passive investor and can voice its views to the UBS management.
"The board seat is a distraction," the source said.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Wall Street – A Delusional Fairy Tale for the labour force

AUG 2011

With just over 7.6 million employees, the U.S. financial industry's workforce is at a low not seen since January 1999, according to U.S. government data. The industry's headcount is down 9 percent since a peak of 8.35 million in late 2006.

Workers are bracing for further cuts as banks eke out profits from less revenue. And many finance jobs, from bank tellers to bond traders, are being replaced by computers.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse Group AG, UBS AG and Barclays PLC are among the major banks that plan to cut thousands of jobs, following disappointing earnings reports.
Experts say that unlike prior boom-and-bust cycles, the financial industry may not see more hiring anytime soon.

"In the past, brokerage firms would fire 5,000 brokers one year and then hire 5,000 brokers the next year," said Ernest Patrikis, a partner at Wall Street law firm White & Case who spent 30 years at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. "That's not what we're seeing this time around."

If the finance industry is shrinking on a more permanent basis, as some suggest, its workers have been slow to catch on. Many of those laid off since 2006 remain unemployed, looking for work in the same sector.
Unemployment in financial services has averaged 6.7 percent over the past 12 months, far below the broader U.S. jobless rate, but more than double what it was when the crisis hit.
"Finance was at the center of the storm in this recession and its aftermath," said John Challenger, head of the job-search counselling firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "Those workers don't absorb back into the system as quickly."
Some don't go back at all.
"I said to myself, 'I'm done -- this is a big mess on Wall Street,'" said Rina Lazar, who was a Merrill Lynch analyst, a hedge fund saleswoman and finance recruiter before quitting in 2008. She now uses the same skills to sell kitchen products and cookware for a direct sales company called The Pampered Chef.
Lazar, who has won a trip to Hawaii as one of the firm's top sellers, said she earns less money than she did on Wall Street, but is happier and more motivated, with more time off.
"I was making six figures by the time I was 23," said Lazar, who is 30. "At the same time, my hours were insane and I had no life. I'm glad I moved on. I'm much happier now."
In some cases, bankers and traders find themselves going for jobs they might have scoffed at a year or two ago.

Rich Rothaar, 27, cut his teeth on Wall Street selling over-the-counter derivatives, a hot commodity in the years leading up to the crisis. But at the height of the turmoil in 2008, Rothaar lost his job.
Two years later, with no job prospects in sight, Rothaar decided to get his hands dirty, literally: he opened a kitchen exhaust cleaning franchise near his hometown in Long Island.
"On Wall Street, there was no camaraderie, no helping hand," Rothaar said. "It became extremely cutthroat. It just wasn't a fun place to work anymore."
Rothaar says his day-to-day work can be mundane and frustrating, but he likes being a successful entrepreneur.
"On Wall Street, it was much easier and you made more money, which was great," he said. "But it was also very unfulfilling. It feels nice to actually build a business, to have something more tangible than just brokering contracts all day long."

Carrie Luckner-Zimmerman, who left her job as a long-short equity trader to become a pastry chef, echoed the sentiment.
"I would watch those fancy cake shows on TV and think to myself, 'It would be pretty cool to learn how to make those cakes' -- to do something with my hands and create something tangible, rather than just trading," she said.
Luckner-Zimmerman quit a hedge fund called Satellite Asset Management in May 2008. She spent several months learning the pastry craft at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and the French Culinary Institute in New York before launching her own company, Petit Paris Patisserie, in 2009. She now sells French pastries and artisanal bread at catered events and farmer's markets.
By the time she got her new venture off the ground, Satellite Asset Management had started to liquidate.
"Things weren't looking so hot and it was a little stressful," Luckner-Zimmerman said about the end of her nine-year stint in finance. "I took the leap, but if I hadn't made the decision, the decision would have been made for me."

If there is a silver lining about the job losses in finance it might be this: a hoard of bright, talented, profit-hungry employees with plenty of time to help jump-start the economy.
One such example: Luke Holden, an ex-investment banker who left Wall Street to open a lobster shack.
Since opening his first Luke's Lobster restaurant in New York City's East Village in 2009, Holden's enterprise has spread to five locations in New York and Washington, D.C.
In the process, he has helped his father in Maine, who had seen a slowdown in business at his seafood processing company, as well as the lobstermen there. The chain also sells soda and soup from local Maine businesses, and donates profits to a fishermen's society.
"My dream job would be to go back and lobster every day," said Holden.

Challenger, the jobs consultant, draws a comparison to the tech whizzes who left Silicon Valley after the dot-com bubble burst a decade ago.
"The talented, educated, smart people often make their way into new interesting areas," he said. "That's important for the country, to have an economy that's nimble enough to not squander its brainpower."

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

GIC is sitting on a substantial loss on UBS - close to $7.4 billion

[COMMENTS] If you think you are a bad investor and have lost $$$, don't worry the bigger idiots are out there...
GIC is sitting on a substantial loss — close to $7.4 billion — on its UBS stake, acquired for $15 billion three and a half years ago.

Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, was already sitting on a substantial loss on its 6.4 per cent stake in UBS before last week’s shock disclosure that a 31-year-old trader on the bank’s “Delta One” desk allegedly lost billions by taking unauthorised futures positions.
Oswald GrĂ¼bel, UBS’s embattled chief executive, met GIC as the bank’s board gathered to review the implications of the scandal, and to consider sweeping changes to the bank’s business model in a long-scheduled meeting timed to coincide with the Singapore Grand Prix.
“[We] discussed the alleged fraudulent trading that led to the large financial loss for UBS,” GIC said in a rare statement. “GIC expressed disappointment and concern at the lapses and urged UBS to take firm action to restore confidence in the bank.”

Imagine what we can do for the Citizens and poor in Singapore with the US$ 7.4 Billion Loss
- Pro-family benefits such as affordable child care/education so that we do not need to rely on FTs
- Subsidise Health care for Chronic illnesses/hospitalizations
- Affordable HDB housing
- Transport systems that are reasonably priced with no failures

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Wall Street Meets Family Guy

Stewie Griffin Meets Wall Street - Family Guy... two of my favourite characters...

One from Family guy the comedy cartoon...
One from Wall Street the movie...

Hilarious !!!!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

How to Lose to Win !

How to Lose to Win !
Banks and all their greed!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Too Big to Fail Movie by HBO (2011)

Too Big to Fail Movie by HBO (2011)....the apparent real conversations and thought-processes/negotiations that went on in the USA administration and finance industry during the 2008/2009 financial crisis.

They managed to get actors that do look like the characters that they were portraying.
Except for Warren Buffett who look like they picked the actor from some old folks home...

Interesting Movie

Monday, 12 September 2011