Paul Donovan made comments on daily podcast

UBS wealth management chief economist Paul Donovan touched off furor after insensitive comments in a daily audio briefing where he touched on the inflationary impacts of swine fever in Asia, saying rising Chinese CPI was due to sick pigs.

“Does this matter? It matters if you are a Chinese pig. It matters if you
like eating pork in China. It does not really matter to the rest of the
world,” he said.

The bank deleted the podcast and he later apologized. 

“I made a mistake and I unwittingly used hugely culturally insensitive
language,” Donovan said in a Bloomberg TV interview yesterday, reiterating that his remarks were not intended to offend.
“I apologize publicly for that.”

The Chinese Securities Association of Hong Kong wasn’t having it and urged UBS to terminate “the employment of the staff involved, and report the result to the
Chinese public.” It also demanded “the management of UBS make an open
and formal apology, and to ensure that such incidents will not occur

UBS confirmed today that Donovan was put on leave.

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