There are a number of issues with banks, the latest one is the one I left alone initially. It was the Credit Suisse – UBS issue.
The initial issue are the holes, like a Swiss cheese, it has holes. In the cheese it is accepted as it is part of the process. But with banks? How many holes can we allow for? Now, the ice is thin here. I am not an economist and I am no banking person, So what do I know? Well, I know infrastructures going back to my Intelligence days, I have seen companies getting gobbled up and in some cases for all the wrong reasons, you see those parts were on paper pleasing, but the reality of it was that reality bites and that is when you feel like a Japanese guy gobbling up a live fish. That is seemingly OK, until the fish eaten is a piranha and it starts eating you from the inside out.
So lets get back to the first article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/business-65177258) where we see ‘Credit Suisse investors angrily confront bank as chairman says sorry’. There we see Ulrich Korner in some stage of apathy. He reminded me of a Dutch political comic in one of their newspapers (a long time ago) where we see “When we get to item 4, it would be best if at least one of the board members start crying”. It felt like a farce, a joke for the stockholders who are about to lose a lot more than they bargained for. The text the BBC gives us is “The loss-making bank had already been struggling for a number of years after a series of scandals, compliance problems and bad financial bets. Mr Lehmann told investors at the Annual General Meeting that management had a plan to turn things around but had been “thwarted” by fears prompted by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in the US.” I personally feel like this is misdirection. I personally believe that the US bond issues are stretched on several fronts and as I wrote in previous articles, how did Credit Suisse stock up on the Basel III front? What was the safety gap? It is my personally belief that there was close to none (or at least a lot too little), and now Credit Suisse will be removed and their banks will hoist the UBS logo soon enough, especially with the scandals and bad bets that were made.
Yet that same day, the Irish times (at https://www.irishtimes.com/business/financial-services/2023/04/05/ubs-chair-says-credit-suisse-integration-will-take-up-to-four-years/) shows us ‘UBS chair says Credit Suisse integration will take up to four years’ that is for banking in these volatile times a massive risk to take and it is not taken lightly, as such I believe that people like Janet Yellen would have been on the phone with a few people. When the American bonds go, the US economy will go and I reckon they will take the Japanese and EU economy into the abyss with them. It is a personal view and I have nothing to prove it with, but the weak response from the media implies that these sources got told to play it cool or face consequences. It is a speculation, but when we take the view I had in the past on Shareholders and stake holders, I belief that I am decently correct and it is a personal view after all.
The Irish Times also gives us “Even with downside protection in the form of government support, there’s a “huge amount of risk in integrating these businesses,” Mr Kelleher, who is from Cork, said in prepared remarks for the bank’s annual general meeting on Wednesday.” The setting is that UBS is getting the bank for three billion Swiss francs. One source tells us “How much a company is worth is typically represented by its market capitalisation, or the current stock price multiplied by the number of shares outstanding. Credit Suisse Group net worth as of April 06, 2023 is $2.76B.” When we see other sources we get “Total assets CHF 531 billion and Total equity CHF 45 billion” this was last year and they have a little over 50,000 staff. I reckon that the bosses there are working on their resume and I would suggest the word ‘scandal’ is written correctly, because involvement in sandal does not go over well in the financial sector. And when you see these numbers, it is all sold for 3 billion? And we see no serious questions from any media.
So what is left of the assets? What are the bond numbers and total value per nation of bonds acquired. There is no insight of that. Just like the meltdown of 2008 no one is to blame and the US is fixing the carper so that it can hide more dirty laundry. So how long until the people realise that their economy is largely based on an empty egg shell?
The Irish Times also gives us “Shareholders will receive one UBS share for every 22.48 Credit Suisse shares held” this implies a mere 4.44% of value return for the shareholders, yes their value goes up butt this level of saturation is an issue and I reckon that more banks will follow at some point. Banks will become bad investment for the tax write off and the shareholders will lose out. Don’t get me wrong, I have no real sympathy for them, this is the outcome of shares and stocks. Sometimes you lose. But we need to look back to 2012. In the Netherlands we saw ‘SNS Reaal mulls bad bank for property operations’ (source: Reuters), it was their too big to fail operation and the people were not happy, it was a setting of real estate that was just beyond believe and now we get a similar setting but now it is not real estate, it is banks that are the bad investments and how many of them are holding bonds? The fact that the media never properly investigated this implies that I am a lot closer to the truth than even I am happy about.
And the last part is giving us ““I understand that not all stakeholders of UBS and Credit Suisse are pleased with this approach,” Mr Kelleher said. “However, all parties, and in particular the Swiss authorities, considered this solution the best of all available options.” – Bloomberg” yes that sounds good, but I have a list (and that is just the Credit Suisse naughty list).
US tax fraud conspiracy, 2014, 2023
Malaysia Development Berhad scandal, 2015
Mozambique secret loans scandal, 2017
US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violation, 2018
Climate controversy, 2018
Espionage scandal, 2019 (debatable issue)
Greensill Capital, 2021
Archegos Capital, 2021
Forex manipulations conviction, 2021
Drug money laundering scandal, 2022
Suisse secrets leak, 2022 (debatable issue, I still believe it was an NSA activity)
Russian oligarch loans documents destruction after invasion of Ukraine, 2022
Social media rumours, 2022 (debatable)
So 10 issues and 3 debatable issues, but the debatable issues do leave a mess at the front door of Credit Suisse. In all this Credit Suisse is walking around without clean hands, and the hands must always be clean. So does that warrant a CHF 550 billion downgrade? I honestly d not know and there is debate on some of these sources. I get that there will be differences in sources, but this much? This does not make sense, but it makes a lot more sense when we consider where the priority of Janet Yellen is and it is not the bank, it is the USA. Taking her away from the issues and letting it all be phrased by Bloomberg is not acceptable, not in the least. As Baby Herman states “This all smells like yesterday’s diapers”
As I personally see it, this bank issue has holes like we see in Swiss Cheese.
Have a great day!