Markets were shaken but unstirred by the collapse of Greensill and the Archegos unwind trades. Credit Suisse is the ultimate loser of the two scandals – reputationally damaged and holed below the water line. The bank is paying the price of years of flawed management, poor risk awareness. and its self-belief it was still a Tier 1 global player. Its’ challenge is to avoid becoming the Deutsche Bank of Switzerland – which it will struggle to do without a radical and unlikely shakeout.
As Greensill and Archegos roil markets and cause losses, they beg the question – who is next? Why is 2021 turning into the year the scams are unravelling? Will leverage on leverage trigger wider implosion or will it be something else, like liquidity?
The collapse of Greensill involved a predicable cast of unwise enablers, but it should serve as a warning to the growing number of Alternative Asset buyers on the dangers of complex deals which promise much but deliver less. Due diligence is critical in the highly illiquid alternatives sector.