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Switzerland

How UBS Can Cash In After Its $2.3 Billion Debacle

Analysis: After last week’s arrest of a rogue trader accused of fraud that cost the Swiss bank $2.3 billion, UBS shareholders could actually wind up benefiting from a new structure that splits off the investment banking from the commercial business. But t

(twicepix)
(twicepix)

ZURICH - It is time for UBS to rethink its business model. More precisely, it needs to get rid of its investment banking operations, the business that makes it easy to lose in seconds what an entire crew of asset managers and consultants have earned from a hard day's work. After last week's arrest of Kweku Adoboli, 31, charged with fraud and false accounting dating back to 2008 that racked up $2.3 billion in losses, even the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, a Swiss paper known for its sobriety, asked, "Splitting Off Investment Banking Wings: The Solution To Uncontrollable Proprietary Trading?"

The argument is as follows: It simply isn't right that the more stable commercial banks – or God forbid, the taxpayers – should make up for the billions squandered away by traders in London and New York. Especially when the soaring profits the traders make merely flow back into their own salaries. Discontentment is growing, even within the banks themselves. "It's the investment bankers," says a wealth manager at UBS Zurich, "they ruin everything."

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Economy

The Bogus Concept Of "Carbon-Neutral" Oil

The Colombian president recently said that the country had exported one million barrels of carbon-neutral or offset oil. But in an unregulated carbon market, such a claim is pure greenwashing.

People walk in the streets of Bogotá

María Mónica Monsalve Sánchez

-OpEd-

BOGOTÁ - In March this year, various national and corporate leaders met in Houston, Texas, for CERAWeek, an annual conference to discuss the world's energy challenges. Colombia's President Iván Duque took the opportunity to remind participants that his country produced just 0.6% of the world's carbon emissions even as it had raised crude production to one million barrels a day.

He said oil should not be seen as an enemy, since the fight was really against greenhouse gas emissions. He also revealed at the event that the country's national oil firm, Ecopetrol, had sold the Asian market its first million barrels of carbon-neutral or offset crude, consisting of the entire extraction, production and exportation chain.

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