Speaking of cases, in the Madoff one, here’s a development that seems worthy of pointing out (as opposed to the 46 others that come across the wire daily). It’s a quote by Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel (whom, by the way, yours truly had the pleasure of meeting a couple of years ago, along with his wife; both seemed like lovely people) about what should become of Bernie once he’s convicted:
“[Madoff] should be put in a solitary cell with a screen, and on the screen, for at least five years of his life, [would be] pictures of his victims."
Which, though interesting, doesn’t seem all the harsh to me (New York magazine’s recommended sentence, presented at the link above, seems much worse in comparison).
Another entity that has seen the inside of court rooms as of late, UBS had a busy day today, making headlines no less than three times. First, it received a Barack Obama-like new CEO in Marcel “Marceau” Gruber, who does speak and whom investors over in Switz-land really like, as evidenced by a healthy 9-plus percent rise in UBS’s stock price on the news.
The Swiss giant also was also in the news for a Madoff-related item, as it was ordered by a Luxembourg court to compensate investors who lost their shirts in the infamous Ponzi scheme for a “serious failure” in overseeing a fund that placed cash with Bernie. (Look for similar statements to follow in the case against Bernie.)
And completing the hat trick, a former UBS big shot, ex-UBS Investment Bank head John “Not Bob” Costas, announced that he along with some other hedge fund buds will be starting up their own investment and advisory shop, reportedly called VinsonForbes (no word yet on what, if anything, this name has to do with Costas or his cofounders, whose first and last names, as far as I know, do not include the words Vinson or Forbes).
And, not to be outdone by its former cross-town rival, JPMorgan Chase wanted back in the news today and received its wish, saying it will cut about 12,000 and not the previously announced 10,000 jobs as a result of integrating its acquisition of everybody’s favorite thrift, WaMu (don’t be surprised if next quarter the number miraculously leaps to 14,000).
As if Citi doesn’t already have enough problems, now it looks like five ladies have a pretty solid case against the bank, their former employer, for terminating them based solely on their gender. If Citi settles the case (which is where you should put your money if you’re a betting man or woman) or is found guilty, it certainly won’t be the first time a big bank has had to pay the price for its boy’s club culture.