I am always reluctant to comment on the spate of banker suicides that we have witnessed; there are families suffering, loved ones experiencing shock, and grief, and, in the midst of that chasm of sorrow, most likely a raft of questions that begin to occur. It is with those that I am concerned once again in this blog, but mindful – as we all should be – that people are grieving. Our hearts and prayers go out to them.
With this in mind, there has been, sadly, another banker “suicide:”
There has, of course, been abundant high octane speculation on what might be motivating all these “suicides” beyond any personal problems the victims may have been suffering, and I have indulged in such speculations. One persistent meme in these speculations has been that the traders are aware of impending worldwide collapse of the western financial system, and, overcome with depression, are killing themselves. I have not entertained such speculations – nor indulged in the “collapse” scenario generally, a fact which has put me in a distinct minority – for a variety of reasons, which may be rather briefly summarized.
Reserve currency status, as I have noted elsewhere on this site, has usually accrued to that nation or empire which maintained naval superiority and supremacy: Venice, Portugal, Spain, France, the British Empire of course, and now, the Amerikan Empire. But as the technology of commerce and clearing has changed, we do well to recall a significant fact: most international clearing is now handled electronically and virtually instantaneously, and, for that matter, the same holds true for commodities trading, securities trading, and deposit banking. Thus, space, and not traditional navies, has become the measure of reserve currency status, and American power and military presence in space is, for the moment, supreme. This isn’t to say the Western financial system isn’t in a mess; it is. But is is not, in my opinion, near the sort of dire apocalyptic predictions that so many are entertaining.
Which leads me to a rather different high octane speculation about the possible reasons behind this curious spate of suicides. Let us recall the gruesome catalog reviewed by the New York Post, and make some additions to it:
■ ”Autumn Radtke, the CEO of First Meta, a cyber-currency exchange firm, was found dead on Feb. 28 outside her Singapore apartment. The 28-year-old American, who worked for Apple and other Silicon Valley tech firms prior to founding First Meta, jumped from a 25-story building, authorities said.
■ “ On Feb. 18, a 33-year-old JPMorgan finance pro leaped to his death from the roof of the company’s 30-story Hong Kong office tower, authorities said. Li Junjie’s suicide marked the third mysterious death of a JPMorgan banker. So far, there is no known link between any of the deaths.
■ “ Gabriel Magee, 39, a vice president with JPMorgan’s corporate and investment bank technology arm in the UK, jumped to his death from the roof of the bank’s 33-story Canary Wharf tower in London on Jan. 28.
■ “ On Feb. 3, Ryan Henry Crane, 37, a JPM executive director who worked in New York, was found dead inside his Stamford, Conn., home. A cause of death in Crane’s case has yet to be determined as authorities await a toxicology report, a spokesperson for the Stamford Police Department said.
■” On Jan. 31, Mike Dueker, chief economist at Russell Investments and a former Federal Reserve bank economist, was found dead at the side of a road that leads to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. He was 50.
■ “On Jan. 26, William Broeksmit, 58, a former senior risk manager at Deutsche Bank, was found hanged in a house in South Kensington, according to London police.” (See also A Closer Look at Young Worker Deaths at JP Morgan Chase)
But in addition to these, we may add the curious incident of the “suicide” of Richard Talley, who, as I noted on this website in a prior blog, was in the mortgage title clearing business. The heavy presence of computer experts in this sad catalog also is reason for concern, as are the regional and corporate connections, from Germany’s Deutschebank to Singapore and Hong Kong, financial powerhouses of the Orient.
While it is high octane speculation, I suggest that the connections to Deutschebank, JP Morgan, the Orient, and mortgage titles, cast a dim outline of what the hidden motivations for all these suicides might be, for if one looks at it carefully, we have the major players in FOREX(Foreign exchange) rigging, two of the major players – JP Morgan and Deutschebank – in the London Gold Price fixing, LIBOR, and so on, the same two major players also being implicated in the calls for German gold repatriation, and finally, with Mr. Talley, someone in a position to possibly know of the extent of mortgage fraud in the financial system, which in turn endangers the vast derivatives scheme that led to the financial crisis in the first place, derivatives in the quadrillions of dollars, and hence exceeding the entire planetary GDP.
I submit – crawling way out to the end of the twig of speculation here – that the oft-overlooked fact in recent years, as we’ve all been watching an increasingly bewildering financial picture, are precisely those quadrillions of dollars of derivatives, that vastly exceed the GDP of the planet. There has been both in mainstream and in alternative media but one approach to explaining the creation of this enormous derivatives bubble: insanity and runaway greed. Few have entertained the possible role that the creation of such huge amounts of derivatives may have played in the black budget, and as a mechanism of finance for something requiring not only vast sums of money, but, for those who might be monitoring Earth’s productive and financial capacity, to create the perception that the planet’s resources were truly being tapped financially, for hidden purposes.
Each of these bankers, and Mr. Talley, may have been in the position to realize that the financial system was no longer being run out of Wall Street nor even the banks themselves, but out of Fort Meade, Area 51, Edwards Air Force base, and similar installations from Europe to Pine Gap. This may be the real story, and only time will tell…
See you on the flip side…