Sunday, November 23, 2008

Good idea to solve the banking crisis?

In a report about protests in Switzerland over the mismanagement of their country's biggest bank, UBS, the BBC might have stumbled on a good way to motivate banking executives to solve the crisis.

"UBS bosses," one Swiss wrote to the bank, "give us our money back, or we'll feed you to the crocodiles."

Interesting idea...

But seriously, even in Switzerland, a country built on banking; people are feeling the pinch from the global economic crisis. And even though banking seems to be in the Swiss DNA, it doesn't mean that they don't also make bad decisions. Shares of UBS are said to have lost half their value largely because of the bank's involvement in the sub-prime market, sparking anger among Swiss citizens, many of whom are shareholders in UBS. Recently 6,000 turned out to protest against the management of UBS.

Not only were they blaming the executives of UBS for the plunge, but also the United States.

"The whole sub-prime thing is an American invention," said one disgusted former UBS shareholder.

Policymakers in Washington should keep feelings like that in mind. After this financial crisis, the world is going to be a lot less receptive to American ideas on how the global economy should work, since many around the world are blaming the United States for creating this mess in the first place.
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