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Commentary

Rogue Trader Loses $2 Billion

“Unauthorized” trading by a trader in London caused UBS, the large Swiss bank, to lose $2 bn .

UBS management aims to “get to the bottom of the matter as quickly as possible, and will spare no effort to establish exactly what has happened,” the bank’s group executive board, led by Chief Executive Officer Oswald Gruebel, said in a memo to employees today. “While the news is distressing, it will not change the fundamental strength of our firm.”

The bank tumbled as much as 9.6 percent in Swiss trading following the announcement, which deals a blow to Gruebel’s attempts to revive the investment bank after the division recorded 57.1 billion Swiss francs ($65 billion) in cumulative pretax losses in three years through 2009. The trading loss may revive calls for Gruebel to shrink or shut the unit.

Note: More job losses, and complete cluelessness. If you’re too big to fail, are you necessarily too clueless to fail?