UBS Expected to Sack More, Bonus Blabbing Continues

by Derek Loosvelt | February 09, 2009

  • My Vault

By the time your alarm clock goes off tomorrow morning it's likely that Swiss bank UBS will have announced yet another round of deep cuts in its banking unit, and will have booked billions more in write-downs and losses. It's also possible that the bank will soon announce some sort of joint venture or merger with a U.S.-based wealth management unit in order to bolster its UBS Financial Services unit here in the states.

Following reports that it had previously attempted to strike a deal with Morgan Stanley's brokerage operations (Morgan ended up partnering up with Citi's Smith Barney division), the name Wachovia (which Wells Fargo agreed to acquire not too long ago) was being thrown around as a possible UBS marriage partner. Whatever the outcome, it's certainly not going to be a happy Tuesday for UBS employees (and shareholders).

Also of note, I must not have been paying much attention in the past decade to rising college costs because this figure shocked me: While announcing it will be cutting about 60 employees after its endowment fund lost a bundle, Dartmouth also said it would be raising annual tuition by nearly 5 percent to $49,974 ... Who knew it now costs nearly $200,000 to get (or send your kid so he or she can get) a B.S. or B.A. at a private institution of higher learning?

Actually, maybe the folks over at Fivebucks I mean Starbucks know this, which perhaps is why they are trying to convince you that their lattes are a steal at $3.75 while offering their first-ever discount meal. Perhaps they should take a page from the famous New York City dog chain Gray's Papaya and call their new coupling the Depression Special?

Finally, today the bonus and compensation talk continued, as Barclays said it would take a peek at its incentive pay policy to appease the British government, and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein gave his two cents on the Wall $treet bonus debate in an editorial in the Financial Times. Also, according to the Wealth Bulletin, Bank of America outlined its incomprehensible new play plan and UBS, though likely doing away with most bonuses in the short term, is considering boosting salaries to as high as as $800,000.

If that's the case, maybe tomorrow won't be such a bad day after all, for at least a handful of Union Bank of Switzerland executives.

Filed Under: Finance

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