Search Results for: boli

Second Alleged Murder-Suicide by JPMorgan Worker in Seven Months

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 9, 2015 For the second time in seven months, an employee of JPMorgan Chase is alleged to have brutally murdered his wife and then taken his own life. According to Bergen County, New Jersey Prosecutor John Molinelli and police reports, 27-year old Michael A. Tabacchi and his wife, Iran Pars Tabacchi (who also went by the name Denise) were discovered dead on Friday evening, February 7, in their home in Closter, New Jersey. Their infant son was in the home and unharmed. He is under the care of the paternal grandparents. A text message from the home had been sent to the father of Michael Tabacchi asking him to come to the home, according to media reports. The father found the couple. County Prosecutor Molinelli seems to have made short work of his investigation, tweeting yesterday: “Autopsy on Closter couple shows wife died … Continue reading

Radical Left Wins in Greece, Leaving the Koch Brothers in a Cold Sweat

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 26, 2015 Just imagine what would happen in the United States, land of the billionaire Koch brothers’ well-heeled minions and their obsessive hysteria against the government helping those in need, if a political party called the Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza is the Greek shorthand) took over the country in a landslide victory. Even though it happened in Greece yesterday, not the United States, it is sure to provide plenty of fodder for the Kochs to incite fear in their ranks and ramp up campaign spending by billionaires heading into the 2016 U.S. election. Just this past Saturday, Charles Koch was warning his Ayn Rand-worshiping followers at their annual confab in Palm Springs, California that “Americans have taken an important step in slowing down the march toward collectivism.” In excerpts of his speech leaked to the media, Koch said his vision is … Continue reading

Slain MassMutual Executive Held Wall Street “Trade Secrets”

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: December 8, 2014 On Thursday, November 20, 2014, the body of 54-year old Melissa Millan, a divorced mother of two school-age children, was found at approximately 8 p.m. along a jogging path running parallel to Iron Horse Boulevard in Simsbury, Connecticut. A motorist had spotted the body and called the police. According to the coroner’s report, it was determined that Millan’s death was attributable to a stab wound to the chest with an “edged weapon.” Police ruled the death a homicide, a rarity for this town where residents feel safe enough to routinely jog by themselves on the same path used by Millan. Information has now emerged that Millan had access to highly sensitive data on bank profits resulting from the collection of life insurance proceeds from her insurance company employer on the death of bank workers – data that a Federal regulator of … Continue reading

A Citigroup Banker Dies – Along With Responsible Press Reporting

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 20, 2014 Depending on where and when you got your news yesterday on the tragic death of Shawn D. Miller, a Managing Director of Wall Street mega bank, Citigroup, you were either emphatically told he died of a suicide or you were led to believe he was murdered. By late evening yesterday, the story had disintegrated into wild speculation. The New York Daily News ran this stunning headline, based on anonymous sources, at 9:22 p.m.: “Banker, 42, slashed his own throat in Manhattan bathtub during drug- and booze-filled bender: sources.” It is becoming abundantly clear that if you work for a major Wall Street firm and die a sudden death, it will be shaped, molded, twisted and contorted until it fits with the suicide narrative – no matter how strongly the facts argue otherwise. This is what we can reliably report this morning: … Continue reading

Three New JPMorgan IT Deaths Include Alleged Murder-Suicide

By Russ Martens and Pam Martens: July 14, 2014 Since December of last year, JPMorgan Chase has been experiencing tragic, sudden deaths of workers on a scale which sets it alarmingly apart from other Wall Street mega banks. Adding to the concern generated by the deaths is the recent revelation that JPMorgan has an estimated $180 billion of life insurance in force on its current and former workers. Making worldwide news last week was the violent deaths of JPMorgan technology executive Julian Knott and his wife, Alita, ages 45 and 47, respectively, in Jefferson Township, New Jersey. However, two other recent, sudden deaths of technology workers at JPMorgan have gone unreported by the media. The bodies of the Knott couple, who have a teenage daughter and two teenage sons, were discovered by police on July 6, 2014 at approximately 1:12 a.m. According to a press release issued by the Morris … Continue reading

Profiteering on Banker Deaths: Regulator Says Public Has No Right to Details

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 30, 2014 A man with a long history of keeping big bank secrets safe from the public’s prying eyes has denied the appeal filed by Wall Street On Parade to obtain specifics about the worker deaths upon which JPMorgan Chase pockets the life insurance money each year. According to its financial filings, as of December 31, 2013, JPMorgan held $17.9 billion in Bank-Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) assets, a dark corner of the insurance market that allows banks to take out life insurance policies on their workers, secretly pocket the death benefits, and receive generous tax perks subsidized by the U.S. taxpayer. According to experts, JPMorgan could potentially hold upwards of $179 billion of life insurance in force on its current and former workers, based on the size of its BOLI assets. The man who denied Wall Street On Parade’s appeal is Daniel P. … Continue reading

Banking Deaths: Why JPMorgan Stands Out

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 19, 2014 In the past six months, five current workers and two former workers of JPMorgan Chase have died under unusual circumstances. Adding to the tragedy, all seven were in their late 20s or 30s and three of the deaths involved alleged falls from buildings – a rare form of death even during the height of the financial crisis in 2008. According to the New York City Department of Health, there were just 93 deaths resulting from leaps from buildings in Manhattan and boroughs during 2008 – a time when century old iconic Wall Street firms collapsed and terminated tens of thousands of workers. Those 93 deaths represented just .000011625 of the City’s population of 8 million. JPMorgan’s global workforce population is just 260,000. No other major Wall Street bank comes close in terms of young worker deaths over the past six months. … Continue reading

Suspicious Deaths of Bankers Are Now Classified as “Trade Secrets” by Federal Regulator

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 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 … Continue reading

Document: JPMorgan Chase Bets $10.4 Billion on the Early Death of Workers

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: March 24, 2014 Families of young JPMorgan Chase workers who have experienced tragic deaths over the past four months, have been kept in the dark on many details, including the fact that the bank most likely held a life insurance policy on their loved one – payable to itself. Banks in the U.S., as well as other corporations, are allowed to make multi-billion dollar wagers that their profits from life insurance policies on employees will outstrip the cost of paying premiums and other fees. Early deaths help those wagers pay off. According to the December 31, 2013 financial filing known as the Call Report that JPMorgan made with Federal regulators, it has tied up $10.4 billion in illiquid, long term bets on the death of a large segment of its employees. The program is known among regulators as Bank Owned Life Insurance or BOLI. … Continue reading

As Bank Deaths Continue to Shock, Documents Reveal JPMorgan Has Been Patenting Death Derivatives

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 17, 2014 The probability of two vibrant young men in their 30s who are employed by the same global bank but separated by an ocean dying within six days of each other is remote. And few companies are in as good a position to understand just how remote as is JPMorgan: since 2010, it has received four patents on quantifying longevity risks and structuring wagers via death derivatives. The two deaths at JPMorgan remain unexplained. Gabriel Magee, a 39-year old technology Vice President was found dead on the 9th level rooftop of JPMorgan’s European headquarters at 25 Bank Street in the Canary Wharf section of London on January 28 of this year. A London coroner’s inquest is scheduled for May 15 to determine the cause of death. Six days later, Ryan Crane, a 37-year old Executive Director involved in trading at JPMorgan’s New … Continue reading

JPMorgan Found to Have Violated Both Banking and Securities Laws in $920 Million Settlement

By Pam Martens: September 19, 2013 JPMorgan has reached a $920 million settlement with four of its regulators over the London Whale matter, a high risk trading strategy where bank deposits were used to gamble in illiquid credit derivatives in London. We now know why JPMorgan has been auditioning the settlement in the press for the past four days: the language in the various settlement documents is harsh, making it crystal clear the company broke both banking law and securities law. But then, the regulators had very little choice; the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations had effectively already reached those conclusions in a 307-page report it issued on March 14 of this year. The settlement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) reads: “The credit derivatives trading activity constituted recklessly unsafe and unsound practices, was part of a pattern of misconduct and resulted in more than minimal loss, all within … Continue reading

Looking Back on JPMorgan’s London Whale Saga

With criminal charges imminent, we look back on reporting of the London Whale revelations at Wall Street On Parade.  Personal Investing Lessons From JPMorgan’s London Whale Debacle  Despite a multitude of formulas for measuring risk, multiple layers of oversight management, 28 members of a risk management team with titles like Managing Director, Executive Director, and Vice President, it somehow didn’t occur to any of these folks that the number one criteria for a trading investment is that you need to be able to get out of it. Continue Reading…  JPMorgan: Poster Child for the Most Dangerous Financial System Since 1929 Last Friday, Senator Carl Levin told the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that JPMorgan “piled on risk, hid losses, disregarded risk limits, manipulated risk models, dodged oversight, and misinformed the public.” And here’s the punch line: that’s not even the worst of what JPMorgan did. Continue Reading…  The Other Thing JPMorgan Was … Continue reading

Snowden’s Cry for Help Is a Cry for America

By Pam Martens: July 2, 2013  In July 2002, less than a year after Congress passed the USA Patriot Act, Nancy Chang, then Senior Litigation Attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, published a prophetic and comprehensive book about the legislation titled: Silencing Political Dissent: How Post-September 11 Anti-terrorism Measures Threaten our Civil Liberties.  Chang was one of the early visionaries to see that the USA Patriot Act was not so much about protecting us from terrorists but a weapon to control, contain and criminalize political dissent. I had the privilege of assisting in a New York City book launch event for Chang in September 2002, where Chang warned that the endless war on terrorism theme was critically different from past assaults on Constitutional freedoms during war time. The earlier crises came to an end when the country returned to peacetime. With an endless war mantra, there would be no … Continue reading

Is Sheila Bair Dangerously Naïve When It Comes to Dodd-Frank

By Pam Martens: June 27, 2013  Former Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chair, Sheila Bair, was watching the clock on the wall yesterday during her questioning by the House Financial Services Committee on whether the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation can stop another taxpayer bailout of too-big-to-fail banks.  In the midst of the hearing, it was announced that Bair would have to depart at 12 noon. Based on the answers coming from Bair versus the three other witnesses, there was the impression that Bair wanted to beat a hasty retreat to lunch.  The problem comes down to this: Bair and many on the Democrats’ side of the aisle, refuse to acknowledge that their much ballyhooed financial reform legislation passed in July 2010, the  Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, is an utter failure in reining in the abuses of the Wall Street behemoths as well as useless in preventing another … Continue reading

The Koch Brothers as Newspapermen

By Pam Martens: April 22, 2013 Corporate media is abuzz with the possibility that the Koch brothers will use their majority-control of Koch Industries to buy eight daily newspapers owned by the Tribune Company, including the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, the fourth and ninth largest dailies in the country, respectively. If the Kochs’ bid is successful, it will signal a plan by the Kochs to stop hiding behind front groups and the launch of a full-scale, open assault on reshaping the country to fit their agenda: deregulation, privatization, and dramatically shrinking the Federal government. Tribune also owns two of the largest dailies in the battleground state of Florida: the Orlando Sentinel and the Sun Sentinel out of Fort Lauderdale. Other dailies include The Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant, The Morning Call and Daily Press.  According to the 2013 Forbes list of billionaires, both Charles and David Koch increased their wealth by … Continue reading

The Foreclosure Settlement Scandal: It’s All About Paying Former Regulators Billions

By Pam Martens: April 16, 2013 The $3.6 billion in checks from a government approved settlement fund for victims of foreclosure abuse by the country’s biggest banks and mortgage servicers began arriving in mailboxes this week, with additional mailings to extend into July. But what should also be tucked into the envelope is a truth in advertising disclaimer stating that the government is now disavowing the use of the phrase “Independent Foreclosure Review” as a hyperbolic and untruthful characterization. The process was anything but “independent” and out of more than 4 million foreclosure files potentially stuffed with evidence of illegal activity on the part of banks, only 100,000 files were actually reviewed, not even enough to constitute a reliable statistical sampling. In a Senate hearing last Thursday, Senator Elizabeth Warren revealed for the first time that it was the actual banks that engaged in the illegal foreclosure activities, not the so-called … Continue reading

Elizabeth Warren’s Foreclosure Settlement Bombshell: Banks Determined the Number of Victims of Their Own Foreclosure Frauds

By Pam Martens: April 12, 2013  There is only one thing more Kafkaesque than the ongoing Wall Street frauds and that is watching a live United States Senate investigation of a diabolical settlement the banks themselves concocted to repay the victims of their own fraud. Such was the case yesterday when Senators Sherrod Brown, Jack Reed, and Elizabeth Warren grilled regulators from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Reserve along with outside consultants over allowing banks to hand pick the consultants to do their foreclosure reviews, negotiate confidentiality agreements with them and pay them directly. Hundreds of millions of dollars in checks from the Foreclosure Review settlement will start going out today, eventually topping $3.6 billion in the cash portion of the settlement, and yet it was revealed during yesterday’s Senate hearing that it was the actual banks that engaged in the illegal foreclosure actions that tallied up … Continue reading

Senate Sets Hearing on Crony Consultants Handed $2 Billion for Unreliable Foreclosure Reviews

By Pam Martens: April 5, 2013  Last evening, the U.S. Senate’s Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection, part of the Senate Banking Committee, announced the details of its much anticipated hearing slated for next Thursday, April 11, to peel away the multi layers of darkness surrounding the government’s hastily scrapped plan for in-depth, “independent” reviews of bank foreclosure files that were to make victims of foreclosure abuse whole.  The Senate Subcommittee, which includes Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, and Jeff Merkley – who have sufficiently removed their rose-colored glasses regarding continuing Wall Street corruption to function as useful investigators – will focus on the role of the outside consultants that were hired and paid directly by banks to conduct what were promised to be unbiased reviews. The hearing is titled Outsourcing Accountability? Examining the Role of Independent Consultants and is slated for 10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Dirksen Senate Office … Continue reading

The Other Thing JPMorgan Was Doing in Its Chief Investment Office: Profiting On the Death of Employees

By Pam Martens: March 19, 2013 Gambling on high-risk synthetic credit derivatives is not the only area of interest at JPMorgan’s  Chief Investment Office (CIO) – the division that has thus far admitted to losing $6.2 billion in the London Whale debacle. According to Exhibit 81 released by the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Ina Drew, the head of the CIO, was also overseeing the investment of funds in the firm’s Bank Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) and Corporate Owned Life Insurance (COLI) plans – a scheme enshrined by the U.S. Congress in 2006 that allows too-big-to-fail banks as well as many other corporations to reap huge tax benefits by taking out life insurance policies on workers – even low wage workers – and naming the corporation the beneficiary of the death benefit. According to the exhibit, Drew was tasked with “Maximization of tax-advantaged investments of life insurance premiums” for … Continue reading

Treasury Nominee Jack Lew’s Head-Spinning Mortgage Transactions

By Pam Martens: February 22, 2013 You know the President’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew, is in trouble when media from the left, right and center of the political spectrum are shredding the mild-mannered, bespectacled numbers cruncher. For good reason, I might add.  Lew will now have more embarrassing details to explain (or not, as has become his custom). We’ve dug out the details of his head-spinning mortgage deals with his two former employers,  New York University and Citigroup. This comes on the heels of the bombshell dropped by Senator Orrin Hatch in the confirmation hearing regarding Lew’s cozy employment agreement with Citigroup that paid him a bonus of $940,000 if he could somehow manage to secure a “full time high level position with the United States Government or a regulatory body.” The insolvent bank had just been bailed out by the taxpayer, making the $940,000 bonus accepted by Lew … Continue reading

Are Big Banks Raccoons? Latest Bank Plan Calls For Erecting Electrical Fences

By Pam Martens: February 4, 2013  The U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer,George Osborne, plans to reform big banks in his country the way farmers keep raccoons out of their corn fields: an electrical fence. Banking reform by soap box and silly ideas has crossed the Atlantic. Osborne delivered a flurry of inspirational words today on his new plans for banking reform in the U.K. Curiously, he delivered his speech at JPMorgan’s back office operation in Bournemouth. Osborne said the site location was to remind everyone how many jobs banking brings to England and specifically mentioned a landscaping business called Stewarts that takes care of JPMorgan’s grounds that he planned to visit later. That was possibly not the best choice of examples since wealth and income inequality has been institutionalized by the lack of banking reform. On this side of the pond the suspicion rises that Chancellor Osborne’s site selection might … Continue reading

The Growing View of Wall Street As Financial Mafia

By Pam Martens: September 21, 2012 If you place the words “Wall Street mafia” in the Google search engine without the quotes, it produces 11.3 million links. That’s not good for America. Throughout most of our Nation’s history, Wall Street has been synonymous with the U.S. financial markets. But at long last, the simmering subconscious view that Wall Street may have slipped past the demarcation line of mere corruption into the nether world of organized crime is gaining public notice.  That’s a positive sign.  Until we can fully comprehend what we’re dealing with, Congress will continue to tinker around the edges of financial reform while the core continues to rot. On June 22 of this year, Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone magazine and Yves Smith of the financial blog, Naked Capitalism, performed a critical public service by advancing the concept of Wall Street mafia from the nebulous unsaid to bold … Continue reading

Citigroup’s Latest Brainchild: CitiFirst

By Pam Martens: August 28, 2012  When Ron Suskind’s new book, “Confidence Men,” was released last Fall, there was much noise about the jaw-dropping revelation that President Obama told Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to “wind down” Citigroup and Geithner brazenly disobeyed the President, essentially doing his own thing where Citigroup was concerned.  Here’s a snippet: “In early April, Obama’s economic team congregated in the Oval office for the morning briefing.  All the key players were there, except Geithner.  After a few moments, the president talked about a resolution plan for Citigroup as a key item in his arsenal, and wondered how close it was to completion.  Christina Romer and Larry Summers glanced at each other.  They had been talking for nearly a month about how the Treasury Department seemed to be ignoring the president’s clear, unequivocal orders involving Citigroup. Geithner and his team were moving forward with their own favored … Continue reading

Alexander Cockburn, Radical Journalist, Now Inhabits Heaven; Will It Ever Be the Same

 By Pam Martens: July 21, 2012 Alexander Cockburn succumbed to a battle with cancer on the early morning of July 21, 2012.  The news came to me in an anonymous tweet posted to a listserv.   I imagined Alex stomping about the fluffy clouds inside the pearly gates and cursing that a life dedicated to the written word was, at death, announced by a 160 character electronic blip.  Alex was The Nation’s “Beat the Devil” columnist for 28 years and co-edited the internationally popular political journal CounterPunch with his cherished friend, Jeffrey St. Clair.  I never met or even spoke with Alex Cockburn but for five years we exchanged emails about the articles I was writing for CounterPunch.  Alex may have been radical in his writing, but as an editor of the work of others, he was thoughtful, respectful, and appeared to view each written word as a jewel to be polished … Continue reading

Libor Scandal: The Unvarnished Story of Wall Street’s Heist of the Century

By Pam Martens: July 16, 2012 Wall Street banks have hollowed out our communities with fraudulently sold mortgages and illegal foreclosures and settled the crimes for pennies on the dollar.  They’ve set back property records to the early 1900s, skipping the recording of deeds in county registry offices and using their own front called MERS.  They lobbied to kill fixed pension plans and then shaved a decade of growth off our 401(K)s with exorbitant fees, rigged research and trading for the house.  When much of Wall Street collapsed in 2008 as a direct result of their corrupt business model, their pals in Washington used the public purse to resuscitate the same corrupt financial model – allowing even greater depositor concentration at JPMorgan and Bank of America through acquisitions of crippled firms.  And now, Wall Street may get away with the biggest heist of the public purse in the history of … Continue reading