Dave Emory’s entire lifetime of work is available on a flash drive that can be obtained here.  (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books available on this site.)
Introduction: In FTR #772 , we looked at a number of suspicious deaths in and around the financial industry, this as a number of legal investigations into the misdeeds of the “banksters” were proceeding. This program updates that extraordinary mortality rate. One of the surreal, almost hallucinatory financial instruments that were at the center of the 2008 financial collapse were CDO’s–collateralized debt obligations.
We wonder if the high mortality rate, the ongoing capital troubles and legal investigations plaguing the firms may be related to these deaths. Are we looking at collateralized “death” obligations? We note that JP Morgan Chase has experienced a particularly high mortality rate.
The program begins with an article quoting numerous observers of the investment industry warning that the “too big to fail” financial institutions shouldn’t be subject to criminal proceedings because of the “fallout” that would result.  They are referring to damage to the economy. We examine another apparent kind of “fallout” from financial industry shenanigans–corporate executives falling off of rooftops, falling out of the windows of high-rise buildings, falling off of cliffs in their cars and falling off of bicycles after being struck by minivans.
Program Highlights Include:
- The death–allegedly a suicide–of a 52-year-old French banker  after she apparently questioned the behavior of her superiors at the institution that employed her.
- A summation of some of the suspicious deaths  in the financial industry that have occurred since the last program on the subject.
- Details on the death of JP Morgan Chase executive Ryan Crane .
- The untimely death of John Ruiz , of Morgan Stanley.
- A synopsis of the bankruptcy of Jefferson, County (Alabama)  on which Ruiz worked.
- Synopsis of the deep corruption in Jefferson County, permitting JP Morgan –among other institutions–to engage in fraudulent activity.
- The death of JP Morgan Chase corporate attorney Joseph P. Giampapa  after being struck from behind by a minivan while riding his bicycle.
- The murder of the head of a Liechtenstein investment bank , supposedly by a critic of the institution, who then (allegedly) took his own life.
- The fact that the chairman of Bank Frick & Co. had been Liechtenstein’s Prime Minister from 1993 until 2001.
- The death of a Mill Valley developer who was under indictment  for allegdly defrauding customers of a Sonoma bank. Bijan Madjlessi apparently drove his car off of a 400-foot cliff.
- The death–ostensibly of a heart attack–by the former finance minister of Canada , who had resigned shortly before dying.
1. The program begins with an article quoting numerous observers of the investment industry warning that the “too big to fail” financial institutions shouldn’t be subject to criminal proceedings because of the “fallout” that would result. They are referring to damage to the economy.
As U.S. Justice Department prosecutors angle to bring the first criminal charges against global banks since the financial crisis, they’ll have to stare down warnings of uncontainable collateral damage.
The 2002 collapse of Arthur Andersen, the accounting firm indicted in the Enron scandal, “should be a lesson” for prosecutors, Brad Hintz, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., said today in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “Don’t play with matches.”
Stung by lawmakers’ criticism that multibillion-dollar settlements have done too little to punish Wall Street in the wake of the financial crisis, prosecutors are considering indictments in probes of Credit Suisse Group AG and BNP Paribas SA, a person familiar with the matter said. Even after talking with financial regulators about ways to mitigate damage — such as ensuring banks keep charters — prosecutors might not fully understand consequences for the market, according to industry lawyers and bankers who are following the case.
Bank clients — including trustees, fiduciaries and pension funds — could be forced to cut ties with a financial institution labeled a criminal enterprise, the lawyers and bankers said, asking not to be named because they weren’t authorized to talk publicly. Counterparties also might think twice before entering into billion-dollar transactions with such firms. Damaging a bank’s business could lead to broader fallout across the financial industry, just as Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s collapse in 2008 prompted investors to withdraw from other firms on concern its exit would set off a wave of losses.
Criminal action would have to be handled so that any review of a bank’s charter wouldn’t spook customers or revoke a firm’s license, said Gil Schwartz, a partner at Schwartz & Ballen LLP and a former Federal Reserve lawyer.
“The mere threat of requiring a hearing could cause customers to lose confidence in the institution and could cause a run on the bank,” Schwartz said.
The warnings show the resistance prosecutors face in seeking to prove global banks aren’t too big and systemically important to indict. Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, signaled in a March speech that a large financial firm would be charged soon, despite the industry’s bleak predictions of fallout.
“Companies, especially financial institutions, will do almost anything to avoid a tough enforcement action and therefore have a natural and powerful incentive to make prosecutors believe that death or dire consequences await,” he said. “I have heard assertions made with great force and passion that if we take any criminal action, the skies will darken; the oceans will rise; nuclear winter will be upon us; and the world as we know it will end.”
Credit Suisse has been the target since 2011 of a U.S. criminal probe into whether it helped Americans evade taxes. BNP Paribas has been investigated for possible violations of U.S. sanctions barring business with prohibited countries.
Shares of Zurich-based Credit Suisse fell 0.3 percent yesterday to 27.91 francs after news reports on prosecutors’ deliberations. BNP Paribas dropped 3.2 percent to 54.11 euros. The Paris-based firm said it may need to pay much more than the $1.1 billion it set aside for the U.S. sanctions case.
Spokesmen for both firms declined to comment on the prosecutors’ considerations.
There are a variety of ways for prosecutors to limit damage from criminal charges. One option would be to force a bank’s subsidiary, rather than the parent company, to enter a guilty plea, said the lawyers and bankers. The Justice Department has gone down that path in settling charges involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which forbids U.S. companies from bribing foreign officials to win business.
“I would expect regulatory discussions with these banks in question will avoid systemic consequences,” said Darrell Duffie, a finance professor at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business in Stanford, California. “I expect the situation to be controlled.”
Many concerns expressed by financial professionals focused on less tangible fallout, such as lost confidence in a firm. Some compared such a situation to Bear Stearns Cos., which was battered by doubts about its strength in 2008, leading to its emergency sale to JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Client psychology also could come into play. For example, even if investment managers aren’t prohibited from working with a bank, they may shy away because they don’t want to explain why they put funds in a firm with a criminal past.
Mindful that the specter of criminal charges helped put financial institutions such as Bank of Credit and Commerce International and Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. out of business, prosecutors in Washington and New York have met with representatives of the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to discuss the regulatory risks of indictments, according to two people briefed on the matter.
2. The death–allegedly a suicide–of a 52-year-old French banker  after she apparently questioned the behavior of her superiors at the institution that employed her, as well as a synoptic account of some recent “collateralized death obligations”:
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 Parisien 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…
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. . . .
. . . . 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. (Li was a forex trader, according to the linked story–D.E.]
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
3. Details on the death of JP Morgan Chase executive Ryan Crane: 
Ryan Crane, a JPMorgan (JPM) Chase & Co. employee who in a 14-year career at the New York-based bank rose to executive director of a unit that trades blocks of stocks for clients, has died. He was 37.
He died on Feb. 3 at his Stamford, Connecticut, home, according to the website of Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home in Greenwich, Connecticut. The cause of death will be determined when a toxicology report is completed in about six weeks, said a spokeswoman for the state’s chief medical examiner.
Crane started at JPMorgan in equities trading after graduating from Harvard University in 1999, according to his profile on the LinkedIn Corp. website. Following promotions, he worked as an executive director, or a rank above vice president and below managing director, in the bank’s Americas Program Trading group. Program traders handle transactions in baskets of at least 15 stocks, often for mutual-fund clients seeking to rebalance index-linked portfolios.
“Ryan was a beloved colleague who will be dearly missed,” Justin Perras, a JPMorgan spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement. “Our thoughts and sympathy are with his family and friends.”
4a. John Ruiz worked on the Jefferson County municipal debt deal. Presumably it was on the post-bankruptcy dealings when Morgan Stanley was involved.  The pre-bankruptcy dealings of Jefferson County’s debt were mostly conducted by JP Morgan, and they weren’t something you would publicly celebrate. 
John Ruiz, a municipal debt analyst who recently delivered a presentation on Puerto Rico for Morgan Stanley (MS), one of the biggest underwriters of the island’s debt, has died. He was 53.
He died suddenly on Feb. 4 at his home in Edgewater, New Jersey, according to his brother, James Ruiz. He had returned the day before from a business trip to Florida.
An executive director at New York-based Morgan Stanley since 2010, Ruiz developed expertise in the public finances of the areas he covered, which earlier in his career included California and Florida.
For Morgan Stanley, Ruiz co-wrote a presentation on Puerto Rico at the firm’s Global Distressed Debt Conference last October in New York City.
“The commonwealth’s economy entered recession in 2006 and is currently struggling to gain traction given its heavy dependence on the manufacturing and government sectors, which have been contracting for several years and face significant challenges moving forward,” according to the presentation by Ruiz and Ryan Brady, a vice president.
Morgan Stanley, in conjunction with Barclays Plc and RBC Capital Markets, is working with Puerto Rico on what may be a record sale of junk-rated municipal bonds to refinance debt and raise cash, Bloomberg News reported this week. Morgan Stanley was the biggest underwriter of the U.S. commonwealth’s debt last year as of November.
“On credits like Jefferson County and Puerto Rico, he dug deep and got to all of the important credit aspects of our issuer base very quickly,” J.R. McDermott, a Morgan Stanley managing director, said about Ruiz, according to the Bond Buyer. . . .
4b. Presumably Ruiz’s work on the Jefferson County (Alabama) situation was on the post-bankruptcy dealings when Morgan Stanley was involved. 
Jefferson County, Ala., which just became the first municipality to tap the public bond markets while bankrupt, will go to court on Wednesday to seek approval for its plan to exit bankruptcy by the end of this year.
But there is a catch: Even if Jefferson County does emerge from bankruptcy soon, it will not fully sever its ties to the Federal Bankruptcy Court in Birmingham for 40 more years.
The county’s unusual exit plan, which could offer a possible template for other bankrupt municipalities, calls for the court to retain jurisdiction for the life of $1.8 billion in sewer-revenue debt that it sold over the last few days. If the county falters at some point, even decades from now, the bankruptcy court is supposed to have the power to enforce rate increases to produce the cash needed to pay back the $1.8 billion on schedule, with interest. . . .
4c. The pre-bankruptcy dealings of Jefferson County’s debt were mostly conducted by JP Morgan, and they weren’t something you would publicly celebrate. 
Since so many people read my post on Harrisburg (thank you), I figured that I might as well explain how Jefferson County’s problems evolved. I consider this story to be old news. As with Harrisburg, however, some people mistakenly characterize Jefferson County’s financial problems as a canary in the coalmine for the municipal bond market, which suggests that they still have no idea what transpired there (or how long Jefferson County has been in financial distress). Portraying Jefferson County as a typical municipal credit is akin to portraying Enron as a typical corporate credit. With Jefferson County, various financial firms – but primarily JP Morgan – exploited an existing culture of corruption and made taxpayers the victims of one of the largest frauds in the history of the financial markets. . . .
5. The death of JP Morgan Chase corporate attorney Joseph P. Giampapa  after being struck from behind by a minivan while riding his bicycle:
About a decade ago, Jeff Stephens was bicycling shoulder-to-shoulder with Joseph A. Giampapa when the two witnessed another cyclist get fatally struck by a car right in front of them.
“It was sort of a bond that we had, and I would say it’s a burden that we carried,” Stephens said yesterday. “We were in very close contact for months after that situation.”
On Saturday, Stephens, of Worthington, got a phone call from the scene of another accident — this time, it was Giampapa who had been struck by a minivan and killed while bicycling north of Troy.
Giampapa, 56, of the Northwest Side, was an accomplished long-distance cyclist and corporate attorney for JPMorgan Chase in Columbus. He was a longtime resident of Victorian Village who had moved with his wife, Thelma, into a condominium near Dublin about two years ago.
He was able to ride his bike thousands of miles in short periods of time and covered some of the most difficult terrain in biking, including the same Alpine routes used in the Tour de France, his friends said yesterday.
“He rode many of the famous climbs in the Alps” in both France and Italy, said Greg DuBois, 59, of Worthington, who had traveled with Giampapa on his excursions.
“He could just ride phenomenal distances without stopping and without getting tired.”
Giampapa was biking north on Troy-Sidney Road, near Loy Road, outside of Piqua just after 11 a.m. Saturday when a minivan struck him from behind, Miami County Deputy Todd Tennant said. Giampapa was pronounced dead at the scene.
The minivan driver, Thomas G. Davis, 78, was at fault, Tennant said, but charges haven’t been filed.
Tennant said charges are pending the outcome of a blood toxicology test. But it didn’t appear as though Davis was intoxicated, he added. All of the evidence eventually will be given to a grand jury, Tennant said, but possibly not until May, depending on how long it takes for the blood samples to be processed.
Giampapa’s friends were at a loss about why he was hit.
“It wasn’t a blind turn,” said David Roderick of Athens, who helped organize the 200-kilometer (124.3-mile) event from Springfield to Quincy to Troy and back that Giampapa was participating in.
“It wasn’t on a hill,” Roderick said. “You could see riders for a very long distance.” . . . .
6. The murder of the head of a Liechtenstein investment bank , supposedly by a critic of the institution, who then (allegedly) took his own life, as well as discussion of the fact that the chairman of the bank had been Liechtenstein’s  Prime Minister from 1993-2001 .:
A Liechtenstein banker was shot dead after a feud involving an investment fund, and police said they believe the alleged killer later committed suicide.
The 48-year-old man was shot in the underground garage of a financial institution in Balzers at 7:30 a.m. local time, the Liechtenstein police said on their website today. Neither the victim nor the institution was identified in the statement. The deceased was Juergen Frick, CEO of Bank Frick & Co. AG, according to Switzerland’s Radio 1, which cited employees of his bank.
The suspect, Juergen Hermann, fled the scene in a Smart car with Liechtenstein license plates, according to police. The authorities later said Hermann appears to have committed suicide after they found the vehicle in Ruggell, 25 kilometers (16 miles) north of Balzers, with his passport and a confession.
“Service dogs were able to track the suspect to the banks of the Rhine,” police said in a statement. “Clothing belonging to the suspect was found there. Because of the circumstances and the evidence, suicide has to be assumed.”
Calls to Bank Frick were answered by a voice-mail message saying the company is closed because of “a death.” It gave no further details. A police spokesman didn’t immediately respond to telephone calls and e-mails seeking comment.
Bank Frick & Co., founded in 1998, specializes in wealth management and investment advice. The firm managed about 3.5 billion Swiss francs ($3.9 billion) of assets on behalf of clients at the end of 2012, according to its website. The company’s chairman is Mario Frick, who was prime minister of Liechtenstein from 1993 to 2001.
Bank Frick was previously partly owned by Bawag PSK Bank AG, the Austrian lender that almost collapsed because of its links with failed U.S. futures firm Refco Inc. Bawag owned 26 percent and Refco had a 4 percent holding, according to a report by the Austrian Press Agency. After Austria led a bailout of Bawag in 2006, the company sold its stake in Bank Frick, according to a paper published the following year on the European Commission’s website.
Hermann is a fund manager who has been embroiled in a dispute with the Liechtenstein government and Bank Frick for many years, according to Radio 1.
The Liechtenstein government and the country’s Financial Market Authority “illegally destroyed my investment company Hermann Finance and its funds, depriving me of my livelihood,” according to a website registered under the name Juergen Hermann of Hermann Finance AG.
He has filed lawsuits seeking recovery of 200 million Swiss francs from the government and 33 million francs from Bank Frick, according to the website. The lender “illegally enriched itself,” among other alleged crimes, it said.
A representative of Hermann’s lawyer declined to comment when reached by telephone. A call to an office telephone number listed on Hermann Finance’s website was answered by an employee of a law firm who said his company isn’t related to Hermann Finance.
Hermann had been “publicly hostile” to the country’s Financial Market Authority and some of its employees, forcing it to take security measures in consultation with the police, FMA spokesman Beat Krieger said in an e-mail today. . . .
7. The death of a Mill Valley developer who was under indictment  for allegdly defrauding customers of a Sonoma bank:
After a three-year investigation into the collapse of Sonoma Valley Bank, federal prosecutors announced fraud charges Thursday against two former bank executives, a Santa Rosa attorney and a Marin County developer who became one of the bank’s largest borrowers before its implosion.
The bank’s former CEO, Sean Cutting, 44, of Sonoma, and its chief loan officer, Brian Melland, 45, of Santa Rosa, were arrested Wednesday with developer Bijan Madjlessi, 58, of Mill Valley and attorney David Lonich, 59, of Santa Rosa.
They appeared in federal court in San Francisco, where prosecutors unsealed a 29-count indictment accusing them of conspiracy, bank and wire fraud, money laundering, making false statements to a bank, false bank entries and obstruction of justice. . . . .
8. Bijan Madjlessi apparently drove his car off of a 400-foot cliff.
A Marin County man facing federal fraud charges was found dead Tuesday afternoon after his car plummeted off a cliff in Marin County.
Bijan Madjlessi, 58, of Mill Valley was found in a car about 1 p.m. that had dropped over a 400-foot embankment along Highway 1, just north of Panoramic Highway outside Mill Valley, CHP Officer Andrew Barclay said. Madjlessi was pronounced dead at the scene.
Madjlessi and three others were indicted in early April on federal charges accusing them of conspiracy, bank and wire fraud, money laundering, making false statements to a bank, false bank entries and obstruction of justice. . . .
. . . . Madjlessi’s family reported him missing on Sunday. His cause of death has not been determined and an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the accident, Barclay said.
9. The death–ostensibly of a heart attack–by the former finance minister of Canada , who had resigned shortly before dying:
Jim Flaherty’s cause of death was a heart attack, according to police.
Emergency services in Ottawa responded to a call from Flaherty’s home around 12:30 p.m. Thursday. Police later said he died there as a result of a heart attack. An official cause of death has yet to be released.
Flaherty was 64 years old and is survived by his wife Christine Elliott and their three sons, John, Galen and Quinn.
The family said in a statement that Flaherty passed away “peacefully” and asked for privacy.
Elliott, who is a Progressive Conservative MPP in Ontario, scrummed with reporters Thursday morning in Toronto, suggesting Flaherty’s turn for the worse came as a surprise.
The Ottawa Citizen reported that Labour Minister Kellie Leitch, a medical doctor, administered CPR to Flaherty before paramedics arrived at his condo. . . .
. . . . Flaherty resigned as finance minister in March. . . . .
10. The broadcast concludes with information from the first of the Archive Shows.
This May, 1980, broadcast highlights economic concentration and its historical relationship to fascism. The issue of the “1%” versus the “99%” is not new.
After discussion of the American corporate connections to the Third Reich, this program concludes with analysis of the perils of the concentration of economic power.
Several minutes in length, the conclusion of that program can be accessed here: Listen .
Of paramount significance, is the possibility that concentration of economic power in the United States might eventually produce for Americans what it did for Germans in the 1930’s.
The fact that many of the most important U.S. companies and individuals were deeply involved with Nazi industry and finance informs us that such a possibility is not as remote a sit might appear at first.
(These same interests attempted to overthrow Franklin D. Roosevelt  in a coup attempt in 1934, seeking to install a government modeled on Mussolini’s “corporate state.”  Mussolini and his fascisti are pictured at right.)
With the very able assistance of co-host Mark Ortiz, Dave recorded the first of the archive shows, Uncle Sam and the Swastika (M11) , on Memorial Day weekend of 1980 (5/23/80).
The program echoes at the distance of thirty years the warning that James Stewart Martin sounded in his 1950 book All Honorable Men . Noting how attempts at breaking up Hitler’s German economic power base had been foiled by the Germans’ powerful American business partners, Martin detailed the same pattern of concentration of economic power in the United States that had led to the rise of Nazism in Germany.
In 2005, Uncle Sam and the Swastika was distilled into For The Record #511 . Since then, the American and global economies have tanked and may well get worse. The significance of an economic collapse for the implementation of a fascist cabal figures significantly in the several minutes of this excerpt.
At more than 30 years’ distance from the original recording of Uncle Sam and the Swastika, the questions raised in this broadcast loom large. Will the “calm judgement of business necessity”–fascism–that Martin foresaw in 1950 come to pass?
We should note that Mussolini termed the fascist system–which he christened–“the corporate state.” Another way of conceptualizing it would be to think of fascism as “capitalism on full auto.”