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Anorak | Credit Cruch: The Beginning Of The End At UBS

Credit Cruch: The Beginning Of The End At UBS

by | 1st, October 2007

THE Credit Crunch. Says Tim: Yessssss! Result!

Seriously, this is excellent news:

The crisis in the troubled US sub-prime mortgage market has sent Swiss investment banking giant UBS tumbling to its first quarterly loss in almost a decade and prompted sweeping changes to senior management and significant job losses.

In a trading update, the Swiss lender said it will record a loss of up to SFr800m (£340m) for the third quarter thanks to “substantial losses” on investments relating to sub-prime mortgage assets.

It said that about 1500 employees will be made redundant by the end of the year.
No, I’m not exulting in fat cats getting the sack, hey, I’m not writing for The Guardian here. Rather, this is the beginning of the end for the credit crunch.

Remember back a few weeks when this all started? What everyone knew was that there were losses in those sub-prime loans. That wasn’t what caused the problems: what did was that no one knew where the losses were. The loans had been sliced and diced and then parked with investors all over the world and no one actually knew who was going to take a loss when John Doe was foreclosed upon. So no one would trade those loans nor would anyone lend using them as security. Thus the credit crunch.

Now we’re beginning to find out where those losses are. There’s been a couple of German regional banks going tits up and now we’re seeing the majors announcing their losses. Once we’ve got the whole reporting season over, we’ll know where the losses are, what the loans themselves are worth, and then, given that prices can be assigned to them, the loans will once again be traded and accepted as security.

Lots of people will have lost money, to be sure, but the credit crunch will be over.



Posted: 1st, October 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Money Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink