Monday, December 10, 2007

Full Fifty Men

"Follow. But! Follow only if ye be men of valor, for the entrance to this cave is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel that no man yet has fought with it and lived! Bones of full fifty men lie strewn about its lair ... So, brave knights, if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further, for death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth."

— Monty Python, The Holy Grail

I guess the witch doctors at McKinsey ran out of chickens, so the executive bobsled team at UBS has decided to purify their sins in a bath of their shareholders' blood. So many shoes continue to drop in the global credit system that the financial sector is beginning to look like Imelda Marcos' closet in an earthquake.

Because the announced $10 billion in writedowns at UBS seem to be connected to subprime mortgage exposure, it remains unclear whether McKinsey's advice to push decision making authority for leveraged loans down into the investment bank helped the bank make better lending decisions or worse. Any guesses from the peanut gallery?

The good news is that Our Favorite Consulting Firm now has brand new material to work with, helping the fondue-eating writedown monkeys scour the streets of Zurich for loose change to fund the cash portion of its investment bankers' bonuses. That shouldn't take too long, but I expect compiling the report about it will add another six months to the project billings.

Talk about scope creep.

© 2007 The Epicurean Dealmaker. All rights reserved.