Jewish Journal

UBS Investment CEO: time to cut costs like a ‘Jewish shopkeeper’

by Brad A. Greenberg

November 9, 2011 | 3:20 pm

Carsten Kengeter, the CEO of UBS Investment Bank, might have chosen the wrong analogy when he dined in New York a few weeks ago with some of this top bankers. He wanted them to know it was time to tighten belts—you know, because people aren’t too happy with Wall Street largesse and UBS just got caught in a $2.3 billion trading scandal. But he chose a rather anti-Semitic stereotype to get his point across.

According to the New York Post:

Kengeter, 44, implored the bankers to make a more concerted effort to streamline the firm and likened the strategy to slashing expenses like a “Jewish shopkeeper,” according to one attendee.

Well, that must have been a fun meal. The story states that instead of pumping up the troops, Kengeter’s comment “deflated morale.” I wonder what that looked like.

And where to start with the substance of the comment ... I don’t know if it’s more racist or more dated. I think it’s the latter, but I’ll just leave you with the NY Post headline: “Some of his best friends are shopkeepers.”

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