"Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

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Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

Postby cptmarginal » Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:41 pm

seemslikeadream » Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:38 am wrote:
Swiss Insurers and JPMorgan Have More than ‘Suicides’ in Common[/url]
By Russ Martens and Pam Martens: March 11, 2014


Pierre Wauthier, CFO of Zurich Insurance Group
Questions continue to mount over why a rash of suspicious deaths among executives in the financial services industry are occurring now when the worst of the crisis, layoffs, bankruptcies and bailouts occurred over five years ago – or at least Federal officials keep assuring us that the worst is over.

The underlying concern is that we still cannot get a clear assessment of global financial risks because of what we can’t see: the interconnectedness of global banking; offshore banking; off balance sheet vehicles; and regulatory arbitrage where U.S. financial institutions move high risk operations to foreign locales with light-touch regulators.

It now emerges that there are significant financial ties between JPMorgan Chase, which experienced three suspicious deaths of employees in their 30s in January and February of this year, and two Swiss insurers where a suspicious executive death occurred in August of 2013 and another this past January, the week before a JPMorgan executive was found dead on a 9th level rooftop of the bank’s European headquarters in London.


I wonder what else Swiss Re and JPMorgan may have in common.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... ghter.html

The horrific scene when a devoted father "flipped" and battered his two-year-old daughter to death was described to a court yesterday.

Insurance executive Alberto Izaga suffered an "extreme and sudden" psychological breakdown which made him think the little girl was possessed by the Devil.

Sweating and shouting with rage, the 36-year-old millionaire ranted that "God doesn't exist! The universe doesn't exist! Humanity doesn't exist!"

[...]

Before last June's tragedy, Mr Izaga appeared to be living a charmed life. He had moved to London in 2002 and was a top executive at the insurance giant Swiss Re.

He lived with his wife and their daughter Yanire in a £1million Thames-side apartment with views of the Houses of Parliament.

The jury was told Mr Izaga was "universally liked" and "absolutely devoted" to his daughter, whom he described as "the most precious treasure on Earth".

But prosecutor Jonathan Rees told the jury how, in the weeks before the attack, Mr Izaga experienced two events that may have influenced his mental state.

The first was during a trip to New York, when Mr Izaga and his wife went to a cinema to find the only seats available were for the horror film Bug, directed by William Friedkin.

Not yet released in Britain, it concerns a swarm of cockroaches which crawl under people's skin, as well as Biblical themes.

Then, on a business trip to Geneva, Mr Izaga heard a motivational talk by adventurer Mike Horn, who spoke about leaving his family to go on lengthy trips and pushing himself to achieve his goals.

The evening after he returned, Mr Izaga was walking to a riverside restaurant with his wife when he started talking to himself and gesticulating wildly.

At around 4.30am the following day, he suddenly sat up in bed and started babbling incoherently.

Mr Rees told the court: "He began talking to his wife about the explorer in Geneva and the philosophies of the Jesuits.

"Referring to his fellow executives at Swiss Re, he appeared to indicate that they were part of a sect and trying to take over the financial world."

Over the next four hours Mr Izaga became increasingly worked up, bursting into tears and shouting about the film, the Devil and death.
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Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

Postby cptmarginal » Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:10 pm

Reposting this from the bottom of the last page...

Banker leaps to his death in finance world’s 8th suicide this year

By Michael Gray

March 17, 2014

Image
Kenneth Bellando apparently jumped to his death from this building on the East Side on March 12. Photo: Matthew McDermott

A 28-year old Manhattan investment banker has died in an apparent suicide, police sources said.

Kenneth Bellando, who worked at Levy Capital since January, was found dead on the sidewalk outside his East Side building on March 12 after allegedly jumping from the sixth-story roof, sources said.

Bellando, a former investment bank analyst at JPMorgan, is the son of John Bellando, chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Condé Nast. His brother, John, a top chief investment officer with JPMorgan, works on risk exposure valuations.

Several John Bellando emails were cited during testimony at the Senate Finance Committee’s inquiry into the bank’s losses during the infamous London Whale trade fiasco.


Kenneth Bellando — who grew up in Rockville Center, LI, and was a Georgetown graduate — worked as a summer analyst at JPMorgan while in school. Upon graduation in 2007, he was hired as an investment bank analyst and worked there for one year before moving on, according to his LinkedIn page.

The investment banker then went to Paragon Capital Partners, according to his LinkedIn page, until leaving at the end of 2013.

Bellando becomes the eighth suicide of a financial professional this year and the third death in as many weeks.
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Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

Postby cptmarginal » Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:29 pm

http://www.theguardian.com/business/201 ... e-suicides

Orange France investigates second wave of suicides among staff

Ten people at telecoms giant have killed themselves this year, most over what company says are 'work-related' reasons

Kim Willsher in Paris
theguardian.com, Wednesday 19 March 2014 13.33 EDT

The French telecoms company Orange is on "serious alert" after reports of a fresh spate of work-related suicides.

Since the beginning of the year, 10 of its employees have killed themselves – most for reasons "explicitly related" to their jobs, according to the company's own stress and mental health watchdog.

Orange was formerly the state-owned France Telecom, which reported a similar wave of deaths between 2008 and 2009. The number of suicides so far this year is almost as high as for the whole of last year, when 11 workers took their own lives.

Of the 10 deaths this year – three women and seven men, the youngest aged 25 – eight have been directly linked to work, according to the observatory for stress and forced mobility, which is responsible for monitoring work conditions at the company.

On Wednesday the French health minister, Marisol Touraine, called the new deaths worrying. "The company has to take the necessary measures. I know that the company and the unions are alert to this … we cannot leave the situation as it is," she told French radio.

The observatory was set up after the earlier wave of suicides caused widespread concern about working conditions and practices at the firm.

The company's former boss Didier Lombard resigned after 35 employee killed themselves between 2008 and 2009. He was lambasted and forced to apologise after suggesting suicide was a "fashion" at the company.

In 2012, Lombard was put under formal police investigation accused of installing "brutal management methods" that amounted to "moral harassment".

Le Parisien published an internal company document from 2006 in which Lombard allegedly told directors he was determined to cut 22,000 jobs, adding "I'll do it in one way or the other, by the window or by the door."

Lombard denied that his methods were the cause of the deaths. He remains under investigation.

An official report by the works inspectorate in 2010 blamed a climate of "management harassment" that it said had "psychologically weakened staff and attacked their physical and mental health".

Since then, Patrick Ackermann, delegate for the SUD union and member of the observatory, said the situation had eased, but last month the group issued a warning to management of a "dramatic worsening" of morale within the company to 2007 levels.

"For the last two years, the pressure from management has started again and working conditions have once more deteriorated," it said. Factors driving workers to depression included a reduced workforce being asked to produce better results, staff being obliged to relocate, the threat of site closures and job losses, and an atmosphere of increased competition between workers.

"Also, what we are seeing among mid-level directors is a return to old and brutal methods of management," the observatory said in a statement.

France Telecom was privatised in 2004, sparking a major restructuring and the loss of scores of jobs. The company, known since last year as Orange to match the name of its mobile phone operation, currently employs around 100,000, but has pledged further cuts to the workforce.

In a statement, Orange admitted there had been "several suicides" this year, adding: "Each of these acts is by its nature singular and stem from different contexts. But these situations remind us to be vigilant and for the need to repeatedly question the efficiency of the numerous preventative measures put in place several for the past few years."

The firm's mediator, Jean-François Colin, will meet with staff representatives on Friday to talk about "preventative measures" for those at risk.

France has a suicide rate of 14.7 per 100,000 inhabitants, well above the European average of 10.2 per 100,000 people, three times higher than in Italy and Spain and twice the rate in Britain. Of the estimated 10,000 suicides in France each year – 27 every day – at least 400 can be directly linked to stress caused by work, but employment concerns are believed to be a factor in many more deaths.

In May 2012, the left-leaning newspaper Libération published a manifesto signed by 44 French psychiatrists, sociologists and politicians calling for a national observatory to monitor suicide cases and understand the phenomenon with a view to better prevention.
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Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

Postby cptmarginal » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:56 pm

The real story here is that Jain was reported innocent by the internal Deutsche Bank probe at virtually the same time as his close associate Broeksmit was hanging to death.


Ex-Deutsche banker left notes before killing himself - London inquest

Executive Who Committed Suicide Feared Deutsche Investigations

March 25, 2014 9:32 a.m. ET

A former senior executive at Deutsche Bank, who committed suicide in late January, was concerned about investigations into the German bank, according to statements read at a coroner's inquest in London.

William Broeksmit, an executive who worked in the bank's risk function and advised the firm's senior leadership, was "anxious about various authorities investigating areas of the bank where he worked," according to written evidence from his psychologist, given Tuesday at an inquest at London's Royal Courts of Justice.

Mr. Broeksmit, an American born in Chicago who retired from Deutsche Bank in February 2013, hanged himself at his London home on Jan. 26, according to a statement read at the coroner's inquest.

He left a number of notes to "friends and family," which "show clear evidence of suicidal intent," and that "there must have been planning and forethought," said coroner Fiona Wilcox.

A close colleague of Deutsche Bank co-Chief Executive Anshu Jain, Mr. Broeksmit was expected to be appointed the bank's chief risk officer in 2012, but the move was vetoed by BaFin, the German financial regulator, because of a lack of suitable experience, people familiar with the matter said at the time.

An internal memo from Mr. Jain and Deutsche Bank's other co-CEO Jürgen Fitschen at the time of Mr. Broeksmit's death said: "He was considered by many of his peers to be among the finest minds in the fields of risk and capital management."

Ms. Wilcox, citing written medical evidence from Mr. Broeksmit's doctor and psychologist, said the executive was sleeping badly during the summer of 2013, and his "self-esteem had been greatly undermined." He was also trying to stop smoking cigars and his alcohol intake was high, according to a medical report.

However, in a meeting with his doctor in December 2013, Mr. Broeksmit, who was 58 years old when he died, said he was feeling much better.

A Deutsche Bank spokeswoman said Tuesday that "Bill was not under suspicion of wrongdoing in any matter."


Also today (apparently unrelated)

Deutsche Bank sees more raids over collapse of Kirch media group

Law Firms Searched in Connection With Deutsche Bank Case - Investigation Concerns Bank's Legal Row with Heirs of Leo Kirch
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Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

Postby semper occultus » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:35 pm

....still not all gloom at DB though....

Bonus row: Deutsche Bank bankers cash in despite loses

James Moore Thursday 20 March 2014

www.independent.co.uk

Deutsche Bank’s top bankers saw their total pay rise by nearly 40 per cent despite a brutal fourth-quarter profit warning.

Deutsche revealed today that it had paid its 10-member management board €40 million (£32 million) in 2013, up from €28 million the previous year.

The bumper awards included €9 million to co-chief executive Anshu Jain, a rise of nearly 50 per cent. The awards came despite a final quarter in which the bank lost €1.2 billion as legal and restructuring costs, as well as poor trading, wrecked its numbers.

Another €400 million of hits was taken in February.
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Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

Postby cptmarginal » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:46 pm

That's remarkable...
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Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

Postby Sounder » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:07 pm

The evening after he returned, Mr Izaga was walking to a riverside restaurant with his wife when he started talking to himself and gesticulating wildly.

At around 4.30am the following day, he suddenly sat up in bed and started babbling incoherently.

Mr Rees told the court: "He began talking to his wife about the explorer in Geneva and the philosophies of the Jesuits.

"Referring to his fellow executives at Swiss Re, he appeared to indicate that they were part of a sect and trying to take over the financial world."

Over the next four hours Mr Izaga became increasingly worked up, bursting into tears and shouting about the film, the Devil and death.


Ah, no problem then, they only want to take over the financial world.

As the internal contradictions of this system continue to be exposed, we can expect more psyches to be breaking at the seams.
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Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

Postby semper occultus » Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:14 pm

Former ABN Banker Schmittmann, Wife, Daughter Found Dead at Home

By Martijn van der Starre Apr 5, 2014 11:00 PM GMT+01007

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-05/former-abn-banker-schmittmann-wife-daughter-found-dead-at-home.html

Former ABN Amro Group NV Netherlands Chief Executive Officer Jan Peter Schmittmann, his wife and a daughter were found dead at their home yesterday after a possible “family tragedy,” Dutch police said.

“The bodies of a father and mother and their daughter were found at the property” in the town of Laren, 32 kilometers (20 miles) southeast of Amsterdam, Dutch police said in a statement on their website. Leonie Bosselaar, a police spokeswoman, said in a telephone call with Bloomberg News that the deceased were Schmittmann and two family members.

The police received a call around 10:30 a.m. local time from a family acquaintance who said something may be wrong at the property, according to the statement. Bosselaar declined to comment further.

The Dutch newspaper AD reported, without citing anyone, that the family was discovered by Schmittmann’s second daughter when she arrived home yesterday morning. She was scheduled to travel to India with her parents, where she had an internship lined up, the newspaper said.

Schmittmann, 57, joined ABN Amro in 1983 as assistant relationship manager and was named head of the lender’s Dutch unit in 2003. He stepped down from the Amsterdam-based bank in December 2008, after the company was nationalized earlier that year.

Management Company
ABN Amro was broken up after the 73.3 billion euro ($100.5 billion) takeover by Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Fortis and Banco Santander SA in 2007. A year later, the credit crunch drove Fortis to the verge of collapse, forcing the Netherlands to take over its Dutch banking and insurance units, including assets of ABN Amro.

Schmittmann owned 2phase2, a management company for investments and financial transactions, according to information on LinkedIn Corp.’s professional social-networking website. He’s also co-founder of 5 Park Lane BV, and a supervisory board member at Delta Lloyd Bank.

Schmittmann was born in Maartensdijk, Netherlands, had two children, according to 2phase2’s website. The police said the deceased woman and girl were 57 and 22 years old, respectively.
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Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

Postby Nordic » Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:33 pm

http://freebeacon.com/national-security ... t-suicide/

CIA Official Dies in Apparent Suicide

Death did not take place at CIA headquarters


BY: Bill Gertz
April 4, 2014 11:46 pm

A senior CIA official has died in an apparent suicide this week from injuries sustained after jumping off a building in northern Virginia, according to sources close to the CIA.

CIA spokesman Christopher White confirmed the death and said the incident did not take place at CIA headquarters in McLean, Va.

“We can confirm that there was an individual fatally injured at a facility where agency work is done,” White told the Washington Free Beacon. “He was rushed to a local area hospital where he subsequently died. Due to privacy reasons and out of respect for the family, we are not releasing additional information at this time.”

A source close to the agency said the man who died was a middle manager and the incident occurred after the man jumped from the fifth floor a building in Fairfax County.

Many agency employees are known to work under stressful conditions and high stress is considered a part of the profession, for the three general types of employees: Intelligence analysts and support personnel, technical services operators, and members of the clandestine services, the agency’s elite spying branch.

The CIA is known to operate or rent space in a number of semi-secret locations in the country, including at least one high-rise building in Tysons Corner.

The agency also operates a number of top-secret facilities used by its clandestine service officers, including agency safe houses.

No other details of the death could be learned.

The agency is currently engaged in a high profile dispute with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
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Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

Postby justdrew » Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:56 pm

By 1964 there were 1.5 million mobile phone users in the US
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Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

Postby InfraGard » Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:24 am


Eric Harroun, the US Army vet who went to Syria to fight with the Free Syrian Army died Tuesday, according to his family.

Harroun, 31, was found unresponsive and declared dead at his father’s home in Phoenix, Ariz. Wednesday afternoon. An autopsy will be conducted over the next two days.

“With deep sorrow, we regret to inform you of our beloved Eric Harroun’s death. He will be missed by his family, friends, and many people around the world his life has touched,” his family members posted on Harroun’s Facebook page.

After spending two months fighting, Harroun, who was also as known as the “American Jihadist” returned to Istanbul where he voluntarily briefed members of the US Consulate including the FBI, CIA and even federal prosecutors on his activities and his interest in arranging support and weapons for the U.S. backed rebels...

https://news.vice.com/articles/american ... dies-at-31
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Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

Postby cptmarginal » Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:34 pm

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asi ... story.html

Mysterious spate of apparent suicides by Chinese officials sparks debate, censorship

By Simon Denyer, Published: April 10

BEIJING — Several apparent suicides by Chinese officials in the past three weeks, including the deaths of two senior figures, have sparked public debate and questions, as well as a fresh round of online censorship.

Was President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive putting so much pressure on members of the ruling Communist Party that some were driven to take their own lives? Was it all just a coincidence? Or does a life of deceit and hypocrisy eventually take its toll?

Chinese media reported Thursday that Xu Yean, 58, a deputy director in the State Bureau for Letters and Calls, was found hanged in his office this week.

Xu’s department handles the citizens’ petitions and complaints against local government officials. Although Xu had not been publicly linked with any corruption investigation, a senior colleague was fired and placed under investigation in November for a “severe violation” of party discipline.

At the time, Yu Jianrong, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, was quoted as saying on social media that the department had become one of the most corrupt sectors of the government, often using its power to extract bribes from local officials to silence complaints.

He Gaobo, a local official responsible for building safety in the city of Fenghua in the eastern province of Zhejiang, was found dead in a suspected suicide Wednesday, five days after an apartment building collapsed in the city.

Local news media reported that the building had been declared unsafe months before but that no action had been taken to repair it. Three people involved in the building’s construction have been arrested in that case, news media reported.

On April 4, senior policeman Zhou Yu was found hanged in a hotel room in the central Chinese city of Chongqing. Zhou was a major figure in a crackdown on organized crime in the city under the leadership of Bo Xilai, a senior Communist Party leader who has since been imprisoned for corruption. Zhou was reported to be depressed about health issues related to diabetes and cirrhosis of the liver.

A senior official at the state-owned power-generation company Datang was reported to have died in suspicious circumstances March 29, after being unwell and depressed, although the company denied that his death was a suicide.

Perhaps the most sensational death of all was that of Li Wufeng, 56, who was known as China’s top Internet cop and was reportedly involved in maintaining a system of online censorship known as the Great Firewall of China. Li was said to have jumped to his death March 24 from the sixth floor of the office building where he worked after constantly being in a “bad mood,” local news media reported.

Li attended the Senior Executive Education Program at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2007, according to the International Business Times.

China’s Central Propaganda Department swiftly issued a directive ordering local news media not to report on his “accidental death” without authorization and to delete any “speculative and accusatory comments” online, according to a Web site, China Digital Times, that monitors such directives.

In addition, the story of Xu Yean’s death Thursday was deleted from Chinese media Web site Caixin after a few hours.

Some netizens mocked official boilerplate explanations for some of the deaths.

“A new rule for officials who have committed suicide: Every single one must be depressed, every single one must be unhealthy,” one user posted on Sina Weibo microblogging site.

Others wondered whether Xu simply knew, or had seen, too much.

“Maybe in his position he saw too much of the dark side, and all his hope died,” said another user.

This is not the first time that a spate of suicides among officials has caught the public’s attention. In 2011, a report by Global People magazine listed work pressure, thwarted promotions, emotional problems and alleged corruption as some of the reasons officials were taking their own lives.

But the recent crackdown on corruption under Xi appears more extensive than previous efforts and is reported to have significantly depressed the sale of luxury goods and gift items in China in the past year.

The corrupt lifestyles of many officials have been exposed on social media by disgruntled mistresses.

Xu Jing contributed to this report.
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Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

Postby elfismiles » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:36 pm

52 Year-Old French Banker Jumps To Her Death In Paris (After Questioning Her Superiors)
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/24/2014 23:38 -0400

There have been 13 senior financial services executives deaths around the world this year, but the most notable thing about the sad suicide of the 14th, a 52-year-old banker at France's Bred-Banque-Populaire, is she is the first female. As Le Parisien reports, Lydia (no surname given) jumped from the bank's Paris headquarter's 14th floor shortly before 10am. FranceTV added that sources said "she questioned her superiors before jumping out the window," but the bank denies it noting that she had been in therpapy for several years.

FranceTV and Le Parin reports,

An employee of the Bred-Banque Populaire has committed suicide, Tuesday, April 22 in the morning at the headquarters of the bank. On her arrival at headquarters, quai de la Rapee, in the 12th arrondissement of Paris...

The incident occurred shortly before 10 am, 200 meters from the Ministry of Finance.
...
According to our sources, she questioned his superiors before jumping out the window, that formally denies the direction of the Bank.

"There is absolutely no evidence for designating his relationships with his hierarchy as responsible or letter or message " insists the direction of the communication FranceTV info.

It also speaks of a "very painful moment for the company" .
...
In an email to all employees consulted by FranceTV info, the management of the bank confirms the "death by suicide" and said "severely affected." It shows have established a psychological unit.
...
"For the moment, nothing puts the company in question, says the majority union SUNI-Bred/UNSA. The employee got along very well with her new team, her superior is very nice.

"According to a close," Lydia lived alone, in a difficult environment.

The human resources department states that this inhabitant of Ivry was in therapy for several years. Each describes a "secretive" but "very well known and popular" woman, but "never spoke of it."


This is the 14th financial services exective death in recent months...

1 - William Broeksmit, 58-year-old former senior executive at Deutsche Bank AG, was found dead in his home after an apparent suicide in South Kensington in central London, on January 26th.

2 - Karl Slym, 51 year old Tata Motors managing director Karl Slym, was found dead on the fourth floor of the Shangri-La hotel in Bangkok on January 27th.

3 - Gabriel Magee, a 39-year-old JP Morgan employee, died after falling from the roof of the JP Morgan European headquarters in London on January 27th.

4 - Mike Dueker, 50-year-old chief economist of a US investment bank was found dead close to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State.

5 - Richard Talley, the 57 year old founder of American Title Services in Centennial, Colorado, was found dead earlier this month after apparently shooting himself with a nail gun.

6 - Tim Dickenson, a U.K.-based communications director at Swiss Re AG, also died last month, however the circumstances surrounding his death are still unknown.

7 - Ryan Henry Crane, a 37 year old executive at JP Morgan died in an alleged suicide just a few weeks ago. No details have been released about his death aside from this small obituary announcement at the Stamford Daily Voice.

8 - Li Junjie, 33-year-old banker in Hong Kong jumped from the JP Morgan HQ in Hong Kong this week.

9 - James Stuart Jr, Former National Bank of Commerce CEO, found dead in Scottsdale, Ariz., the morning of Feb. 19. A family spokesman did not say whatcaused the death

10 - Edmund (Eddie) Reilly, 47, a trader at Midtown’s Vertical Group, commited suicide by jumping in front of LIRR train

11 - Kenneth Bellando, 28, a trader at Levy Capital, formerly investment banking analyst at JPMorgan, jumped to his death from his 6th floor East Side apartment.

12 - Jan Peter Schmittmann, 57, the former CEO of Dutch bank ABN Amro found dead at home near Amsterdam with wife and daughter.

13 - Li Jianhua, 49, the director of China's Banking Regulatory Commission died of a sudden heart attack

14 - Lydia _____, 52 - jumped to her suicide from the 14th floor of Bred-Banque Populaire in Paris


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-2 ... -superiors
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Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:42 pm

[url=http://wallstreetonparade.com/2014/04/suspicious-deaths-of-bankers-are-now-classified-as-“trade-secrets”-by-federal-regulator/]Suspicious Deaths of Bankers Are Now Classified as “Trade Secrets” by Federal Regulator[/url]
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 28, 2014

(Left) JPMorgan's European Headquarters at 25 Bank Street, London Where Gabriel Magee Died on January 27 or January 28, 2014
It doesn’t get any more Orwellian than this: Wall Street mega banks crash the U.S. financial system in 2008. Hundreds of thousands of financial industry workers lose their jobs. Then, beginning late last year, a rash of suspicious deaths start to occur among current and former bank employees. Next we learn that four of the Wall Street mega banks likely hold over $680 billion face amount of life insurance on their workers, payable to the banks, not the families. We ask their Federal regulator for the details of this life insurance under a Freedom of Information Act request and we’re told the information constitutes “trade secrets.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the life expectancy of a 25 year old male with a Bachelor’s degree or higher as of 2006 was 81 years of age. But in the past five months, five highly educated JPMorgan male employees in their 30s and one former employee aged 28, have died under suspicious circumstances, including three of whom allegedly leaped off buildings – a statistical rarity even during the height of the financial crisis in 2008.

There is one other major obstacle to brushing away these deaths as random occurrences – they are not happening at JPMorgan’s closest peer bank – Citigroup. Both JPMorgan and Citigroup are global financial institutions with both commercial banking and investment banking operations. Their employee counts are similar – 260,000 employees for JPMorgan versus 251,000 for Citigroup.

Both JPMorgan and Citigroup also own massive amounts of bank-owned life insurance (BOLI), a controversial practice that pays the corporation when a current or former employee dies. (In the case of former employees, the banks conduct regular “death sweeps” of public records using former employees’ Social Security numbers to learn if a former employee has died and then submits a request for payment of the death benefit to the insurance company.)

Wall Street On Parade carefully researched public death announcements over the past 12 months which named the decedent as a current or former employee of Citigroup or its commercial banking unit, Citibank. We found no data suggesting Citigroup was experiencing the same rash of deaths of young men in their 30s as JPMorgan Chase. Nor did we discover any press reports of leaps from buildings among Citigroup’s workers.

Given the above set of facts, on March 21 of this year, we wrote to the regulator of national banks, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), seeking the following information under the Freedom of Information Act (See OCC Response to Wall Street On Parade’s Request for Banker Death Information):

The number of deaths from 2008 through March 21, 2014 on which JPMorgan Chase collected death benefits; the total face amount of BOLI life insurance in force at JPMorgan; the total number of former and current employees of JPMorgan Chase who are insured under these policies; any peer studies showing the same data comparing JPMorgan Chase with Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup.

The OCC responded politely by letter dated April 18, after first calling a few days earlier to inform us that we would be getting nothing under the sunshine law request. (On Wall Street, sunshine routinely means dark curtain.) The OCC letter advised that documents relevant to our request were being withheld on the basis that they are “privileged or contains trade secrets, or commercial or financial information, furnished in confidence, that relates to the business, personal, or financial affairs of any person,” or relate to “a record contained in or related to an examination.”

The ironic reality is that the documents do not pertain to the personal financial affairs of individuals who have a privacy right. Individuals are not going to receive the proceeds of this life insurance for the most part. In many cases, they do not even know that multi-million dollar policies that pay upon their death have been taken out by their employer or former employer. Equally important, JPMorgan is a publicly traded company whose shareholders have a right under securities laws to understand the quality of its earnings – are those earnings coming from traditional banking and investment banking operations or is this ghoulish practice of profiting from the death of workers now a major contributor to profits on Wall Street?

As it turns out, one aspect of the information cavalierly denied to us by the OCC is publicly available to those willing to hunt for it. On March 24 of this year, we reported that JPMorgan Chase held $10.4 billion in BOLI assets at its insured depository bank as of December 31, 2013.

We reached out to BOLI expert, Michael D. Myers, to understand what JPMorgan’s $10.4 billion in BOLI assets at its commercial bank might represent in terms of face amount of life insurance on its workers. Myers said: “Without knowing the length of the investment or its rate of return, it is difficult to estimate the face amount of the insurance coverage. However, a cash value of $10.4 billion could easily translate into more than $100 billion in actual insurance coverage and possibly two or three times that amount” said Myers, a partner in the Houston, Texas law firm McClanahan Myers Espey, L.L.P.

Myers’ and his firm have represented the families of deceased employees for almost two decades in cases involving corporate-owned life insurance against employers such as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Fina Oil and Chemical Co., and American Greetings Corp. (Families may be entitled to the proceeds of these policies if employee consent was required under State law and was never given and/or if the corporation cannot show it had an “insurable interest” in the employee — a tough test to meet if it’s a non key employee or if the employee has left the firm.)

As it turns out, the $10.4 billion significantly understates the amount of money JPMorgan has tied up in seeking to profit from workers’ deaths. Since Wall Street banks are structured as holding companies, we decided to see what type of financial information might be available at the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), a federal interagency that promotes uniform reporting standards among banking regulators.

The FFIEC’s web site provided access to the consolidated financial statements of the bank holding companies of not just JPMorgan Chase but all of the largest Wall Street banks. We conducted our own peer review study with the information that was available.

Four of Wall Street’s largest banks hold a total of $68.1 billion in BOLI assets. Using Michael Myers’ approximate 10 to 1 ratio, that would mean that over time, just these four banks could potentially collect upwards of $681 billion in tax free income from life insurance proceeds on their current and former workers. (Death benefits are received tax free as is the buildup in cash value in the policies.) The breakdown in BOLI assets is as follows as of December 31, 2013:

Bank of America $22.7 billion

Wells Fargo 18.7 billion

JPMorgan Chase 17.9 billion

Citigroup 8.8 billion

In addition to specifics on the BOLI assets, the consolidated financial statements also showed what each bank was reporting as “Earnings on/increase in value of cash surrender value of life insurance” as of December 31, 2013. Those amounts are as follows:

Bank of America $625 million

Wells Fargo 566 million

JPMorgan Chase 686 million

Citigroup 0

Given the size of these numbers, there is another aspect to BOLI that should raise alarm bells among both regulators and shareholders. The Wall Street banks are using a process called “separate accounts” for large amounts of their BOLI assets with reports of some funds never actually leaving the bank and/or being invested in hedge funds, suggesting lessons from the past have not been learned.

On May 20, 2008, Bloomberg News reported that Wachovia Corp. (now owned by Wells Fargo) and Fifth Third Bancorp reported major losses on failed gambles with BOLI assets. “Wachovia reported a $315 million first-quarter loss in its bank-owned life insurance program, known as BOLI, because of investments in hedge funds managed by Citigroup Inc. Fifth Third said in a lawsuit filed last month that it had losses of $323 million from Citigroup’s Falcon funds, which slumped more than 50 percent in the past year as the subprime market collapsed.” Citigroup’s Falcon Strategies hedge fund had lost as much as 75 percent of its value by May 2008.

Following are the names and circumstances of the five young men in their 30s employed by JPMorgan who experienced sudden deaths since December along with the one former employee.

Joseph M. Ambrosio, age 34, of Sayreville, New Jersey, passed away on December 7, 2013 at Raritan Bay Medical Center, Perth Amboy, New Jersey. He was employed as a Financial Analyst for J.P. Morgan Chase in Menlo Park. On March 18, 2014, Wall Street On Parade learned from an immediate member of the family that Joseph M. Ambrosio died suddenly from Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

Jason Alan Salais, 34 years old, died December 15, 2013 outside a Walgreens inPearland, Texas. A family member confirmed that the cause of death was a heart attack. According to the LinkedIn profile for Salais, he was engaged in Client Technology Service “L3 Operate Support” and previously “FXO Operate L2 Support” at JPMorgan. Prior to joining JPMorgan in 2008, Salais had worked as a Client Software Technician at SunGard and a UNIX Systems Analyst at Logix Communications.

Gabriel Magee, 39, died on the evening of January 27, 2014 or the morning of January 28, 2014. Magee was discovered at approximately 8:02 a.m. lying on a 9th level rooftop at the Canary Wharf European headquarters of JPMorgan Chase at 25 Bank Street, London. His specific area of specialty at JPMorgan was “Technical architecture oversight for planning, development, and operation of systems for fixed income securities and interest rate derivatives.” A coroner’s inquest to determine the cause of death is scheduled for May 20, 2014 in London.

Ryan Crane, age 37, died February 3, 2014, at his home in Stamford, Connecticut. The Chief Medical Examiner’s office is still in the process of determining a cause of death. Crane was an Executive Director involved in trading at JPMorgan’s New York office. Crane’s death on February 3 was not reported by any major media until February 13, ten days later, when Bloomberg News ran a brief story.

Dennis Li (Junjie), 33 years old, died February 18, 2014 as a result of a purported fall from the 30-story Chater House office building in Hong Kong where JPMorgan occupied the upper floors. Li is reported to have been an accounting major who worked in the finance department of the bank.

Kenneth Bellando, age 28, was found outside his East Side Manhattan apartment building on March 12, 2014. The building from which Bellando allegedly jumped was only six stories – by no means ensuring that death would result. The young Bellando had previously worked for JPMorgan Chase as an analyst and was the brother of JPMorgan employee John Bellando, who was referenced in the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations’ report on how JPMorgan had hid losses and lied to regulators in the London Whale derivatives trading debacle that resulted in losses of at least $6.2 billion.
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

Postby conniption » Thu May 15, 2014 3:37 am

RT

Bankers killing bankers for the insurance money and another look at 9/11

Max Keiser

May 14, 2014

Two big, macabre stories came out of Wall Street recently: the rash of banker deaths by apparent murder and/or suicide, and speculation that bank CEOs themselves are behind the trend to cash in on the insurance.

It turns out that banks take out life insurance policies on their employees, and those policies pay out death benefits to the banks – not the families. In other words, to add to the banks' other crimes, they appear to also be involved in the "suicides" and deaths of their own, as a way to fatten their bottom line and bonuses.

Should we be surprised by this banker-on-banker death scam? After all, wasn't this what 9/11 was all about?

A new book by James Rickards, 'The Death of Money' (read: 'Death of Bankers'), opens with a timeline starting three days before the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers and describes them from a first-person account from inside the CIA, which was monitoring trading on airline stocks (specifically 'put options'), from traders who were profiting from the 9/11 disaster.

Jim Rickards is both a Washington insider and a Wall Street insider. He's a hedge fund manager and a lawyer who, amongst other roles, advised the government during the collapse of Long Term Capital Management (LTCM), as well as during the release of the hostages during the Iran Hostage Crisis of 1981. If anyone has the inside track on the Wall Street-Washington corridor of corruption, it's Mr. Rickards. And in his new book, he provides an eyewitness account of 9/11 insider 'terror trading' that was missing from the government's own report. Rickards is an unimpeachable source, and he has done a great service by blowing the whistle on this scandal, at least partially.

I've interviewed Jim Rickards on my show 'Keiser Report' many times and spent time with him personally comparing notes from our Wall Street days. One topic that often comes up is 'Drexel.' We were both working on Wall Street during the collapse of Drexel Burnham Lambert and the Ivan Boesky scandal – a seminal moment in establishing the modern, post-regulatory environment on Wall Street, where virtually anything goes and laws are either ignored, rewritten, or created on the spot to manage and profit from the avalanche of insider trading, market manipulation, back room dealing, larceny, forgery, extortion, and other crimes that are the hallmarks of American finance today. When talking about finance scandals, all roads lead back to Drexel and it provides common ground to start a conversation amongst Wall Street veterans.

Both Rickards and I agree that judging by the price action and volume in the options market ahead of the 9/11 attacks, it was clear we were witnessing insider trading. I was one of the biggest producing option brokers when I worked on Wall Street, keep in mind, so I am very familiar with that market. The put options before the disaster were trading like you would expect them to do after a disaster, not before. It was very obvious that advanced knowledge of the attacks was circulating amongst traders. The options market was in fact screaming insider trading, and brokers and bankers were talking about it in the days leading up to the attacks.

Rickards' information timeline in his book almost exactly mirrors the stories I was hearing at the time, when talking to brokers who had heard of, and in some cases were trading, based on this rumor of an impending airline disaster.

Rickards quotes Buzzy Krongard in his book, deputy chairman of the CIA, who was also the former head of Alex Brown – a firm that factors significantly in the story. I used to work for Buzzy at Alex Brown and I still keep in touch with my former colleagues, some of whom were 'buzzing' about the action in airline puts. Additionally, a company I started in Los Angeles, a dot-com, had been sold to a Wall Street broker just a few months before the attacks and the company had relocated their acquisition to the top floor of the World Trade Center. I was in touch with employees who were also 'buzzing' about the put option frenzy in airline stocks, and they cited Alex Brown as the source of the rumors. (They were ironically speculating on their own demise, as we were to find out later).

Coyly, Rickards wants us to believe that the original 'terror traders' – the original airline put option buyers – started buying put options somewhere other than Washington DC or Wall Street. Without much by way of explanation, he suggests that there is no way of knowing for sure where these trades originated, who did the trades, or how to track them. This of course is wrong. All trades are cleared via the OCC (Option Clearing Corporation) and are routed in ways that leave a paper trail that is easily examined and reconstructed. Why is Rickards evasive on these points? Take a close look again at his resume; he is not going to point the finger at the CIA even though there is overwhelming evidence to suggest the trades originated there. So be it. We can read between the lines. To highlight just one obvious point missing in his narrative: millions of dollars worth of profits from 9/11 insider trading still sit uncollected in an Alex Brown account (now owned by Deutsche Bank) in Baltimore, just down the road from the CIA's HQ at Langley.

Rickards claims these trades originated “by unknown traders working overseas somewhere,” and this is clearly a dodge. But let's focus on the fact that Rickards at least has repudiated the government's claim that there was no insider trading at all. For this I take my hat off to him.

For some, the 9/11 story has faded into history and they consider it not terribly interesting anymore, but I think it's important to keep in mind the ruthlessness of bankers on Wall Street today who are now apparently killing each other for the insurance money and who, we can now say with some certainty, were trading options to cash in on their own deaths on 9/11. This is the Wall Street culture that is tearing America apart. This is the Wall Street disease that is undermining America's ability to control events around the world.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
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