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Credit Suisse bond losses prompt Japan lawyers to look into brokers

Swiss government's use of obscure clause shocks retail investors

The Credit Suisse deal upset the conventional wisdom among investors that a company's equity would lose value before its bonds did. (Source photos by AP and Reuters) 

TOKYO -- Lawyers in Japan are exploring the possibility of pursuing legal action against brokers who sold retail investors Credit Suisse bonds that ended up being wiped out when the Swiss bank was taken over by its larger rival UBS.

The entire value of Credit Suisse's alternative tier one (AT1) bonds was written down in the government-orchestrated acquisition, leaving global investors in the instruments nursing a $17 billion loss even as shareholders in the bank received $3.25 billion.

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