Swiss banks have not had a good time of it lately, which does rather dent their image of being sober-suited outfits able to protect your millions. UBS, the Zurich-based banking and wealth management group, has booked a total of $37 billion in losses connected to the credit crunch. Wow. Even other banking groups in the Alpine state, like Clariden Leu, Julius Baer and Credit Suisse, have suffered – though not remotely as badly as UBS, which possibly may break up or get taken over.
So I was a bit bemused to read that Credit Suisse has hired former US Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta as an adviser. Has no-one told Credit Suisse that this fellow used to be known unflatteringly as “Underperformin’ Norman” when he was in charge of sorting out airport security and other areas?