「華人戴明學院」是戴明哲學的學習共同體 ,致力於淵博型智識系統的研究、推廣和運用。 The purpose of this blog is to advance the ideas and ideals of W. Edwards Deming.

2011年9月17日 星期六

Systemic failure, 《双河灣》引發的一次因緣

systemic, inconsistencies, exemplify, “there they ...

Leader_Systemic failure in investment banks
英國《金融時報》 Lex專欄

The timing of UBS's $2bn loss at the hands of a single trader could not have been better for supporters of profound banking reforms such as those proposed by the UK's Vickers review. It could also not have come at a worse time for European banks, again in the grip of uncertainty. We must hope that the former outweighs the latter.


Whatever else Kweku Adob​​oli, the UBS trader arrested in connection with the loss, has done, he has tilted the politics of banking regulation to the reformers' advantage. The revelations come on the third anniversary of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. Everywhere, those who feel that bankers got away with reckless endangerment must be thinking: “there they go again”.

不管因涉嫌造成上述虧損而被捕的瑞銀交易員科維庫•阿多波利(Kweku Adob​​oli)還做了些什麼,他已經讓圍繞銀行業監管的政治鬥爭倒向了對改革者有利的一邊。這件事被曝光,正值雷曼兄弟(Lehman Brothers)破產三週年。在全球各個角落,那些認為銀行家並沒有因其不計後果的危險行為而受到處罰的人肯定在想:“他們又犯老毛病了”。

That is in part true, but only in part. $2bn is an enormous sum of money and losing it is a big scandal for UBS. But the number needs to be seen in context. It barely amounts to four per cent of UBS's $54bn of shareholder's equity. By itself this is not large enough to break the bank – but the knock-on effects on UBS's businesses might be – let alone the financial system. The global economy was wrecked not by supposed individual “rogue traders” but by a systemic and systematic failure to understand the exposures banks were consciously taking on – exemplified by UBS's $50bn losses on mortgage-backed securities just a few years ago.

這種觀點在一定程度上是正確的,但只是一定程度上。 20億美元是一大筆錢,這筆虧損對瑞銀而言是一樁重大醜聞。但我們必須從整體角度看待這個數字。它僅相當於瑞銀540億美元股東權益的4%。就這個數字自身而言,它還沒有大到足以毀滅該行的程度(雖然此事對瑞銀業務造成的連鎖影響可能會拖垮這家銀行),更別提毀滅整個金融體係了。全球經濟之所以遭受重創,罪魁禍首並不是人們口中的一個個“流氓交易員”,而是要歸咎於一點,即人們仍然無法系統地、有條理地理解銀行主動承擔的風險敞口。幾年前,瑞銀在抵押貸款支持證券(MBS)上的500億美元虧損就是一個典型的例子。

Moreover, the “rogue trader” label should be taken with a pinch of salt. It is not yet known what sorts of internal risk management rules at UBS were broken, if any. But that “Delta One” desks such as the one Mr Adob​​oli worked on can cause losses is evident. Placed in a grey area between proprietary and for-client trading, these desks deploy client assets to match certain benchmarks for their customers – tracking the price of gold, for example. Any excess profits generated by providing that exposure can be kept by the bank: a perfect incentive to take on extra risk with the bank's own balance sheet. Whether or not Mr Adob​​oli broke internal rules or external laws, taking such risks insofar as legally possible is what investment banks are set up do . If “rogue traders” are problem, “rogue activity” is a bigger one.

另外,我們應該帶著懷疑的態度看待“流氓交易員”這類指控。目前尚不清楚,這件事違反了瑞銀哪類內部風險管理規定——假如真的違反了的話。但是,阿多波利所在的“Delta One”部門有可能造成虧損,這一點是顯而易見的。該部門的交易介於自營交易和代客交易之間的灰色區域,對客戶資產進行配置以匹配某些基準,比方說追踪金價。通過提供這一風險敞口而獲得的所有額外盈利都可被該行保留:這是對利用銀行自身資產負債表承擔更多風險的絕好激勵。不管阿多波利違反的是內部規定還是外部法律,“只要法律上可行就要去承擔這類風險”正是投行業一直奉行的。如果“流氓交易員”是一個問題的話,那麼“流氓活動”則是一個更大的問題。

So the UBS scandal mainly confirms what we already know. The narrow lesson is that derivati​​ves can conceal risk as well as manage it. The broad lesson is that inherently risky investment banking, must not be allowed to contaminate utility banking or the wider economy. It is a call to speed up efforts to increase investment banks' capital buffers and the ease with which they can be resolved if the buffers are worn through. If this is done, the risks investment banks take on and the gains and losses that ensue are largely a matter between banks and their shareholders – provided that shareholders are not defrauded or misled.


This, however, is not the situation we are in.,The UBS scandal will have repercussions. Most obviously on UBS itself – with its reputation badly damaged by its subprime losses, this additional blow will make things harder for its private wealth management business. And by bringing home how little we know about the bodies buried in banks' balance sheets, it will fuel scepticism of other banks – especially in the eurozone, where market pressures are intense (even if they lifted a bit after Thursday's joint central bank intervention) .


The biggest questions raised by the affair are for Switzerland. The country that prides itself on conservatism in dealing with money has been losing patience with the risk-taking culture of investment banks. It may find that even the “Swiss finish” to Basel III capital rules is not enough to protect its public finances against losses.

此事引發的最大問題是針對瑞士的。這個曾以在資金處理方面走保守路線為傲的國家,正在對投行的冒險文化失去耐心。這個國家可能會發現,即便瑞士實行比《巴塞爾協議III》(Basel III)更為嚴格的資本金規定(瑞士終結方案,Swiss finish),也不足以保護其公共金融不受損失。

Cultures are difficult to regulate by edict, but they do evolve when the environment changes. To get investment banking culture under control, a good start would be for everyone to stop subsidising it.




今天在聯經架上 看到每本約90元的《双河灣》
約2008年4月 有一則報導某印刷廠的文章
我去詢問 價格很合理
那年暑假 好友 Bill Scherkenbach 在光寶公司當副總經理
我們想法辦講座 出書

台灣戴明圈:2008年東海戴明學者講座 ii (再續前緣)


不過 因為一些技術問題 沒給那家印刷場印 (錯失在我方)
2009年 我們仍要出書 再打電話給代理人 不過 她已離職了