Before I start. For us here “UBS” is of course a household name, but our gummitch pointed out my half-cocked assumption and houseofroberts corrected it below in the comments. Thanks to both of you.
Today is General Assembly of UBS in Basle. There are some points of interest in that. Main point: Will Ospel, Rohner, Kurer and Wuffli be discharged from liability for the Years 2007 and 2008? If not, UBS will have to reconsider charging them with fraud or breach of trust. This thread will be updated as soon as the results are in.
The voting on a discharge from liability for the managing board as well as for the supervisory board was a clear “No” for the year 2007, which has never happened before in Swiss business history.
Discharging board and management, traditionally largely an annual formality, means the company itself and the shareholders who vote for it would no longer have the option of pursuing legal action against them [former management], unless new information came to light. (more)
The legal consequences are not really clear yet, the current chairman of the supervisory board, Kaspar Villiger, has already made clear that the management of the bank will hold on to it’s decision not to press charges to hold the former management accountable for their actions. Given the fact that UBS owes those four a multi-billion loss, shareholders lost billions and no dividend was paid either, there might be someone outside the management, however, who may beg to differ.
Now, this is all going to end the banks’ greedy and irresponsible ways of making money. Not.
Zurich-based UBS eked out majority support–nearly 55%–for 2009 pay in a non-binding vote, but board and management members present were grilled by disgruntled shareholders.
“With their new bonus plan, UBS is going back to errant ways,” said Rolf Luethi, a retail shareholder from Oberrieden, Switzerland. (more)
Bonus packages have been approved by the general assembly but a 45% No vote is considered something of a warning. I will not hold my breath, however, that UBS, or any other major bank, will go back to respectability. As long as “too big to fail” is accepted as an excuse and as long as there remains a tax paying middle class that can be squeezed for a bailout, it’s going to be business as usual. In the end all they really want is getting all the money, yours, ours, everyones.
This is, nevermind my ranting, an open thread. So feel free to comment on whatever is on your mind.