“When money speaks, the truth keeps silent.” –Russian proverb
Silence is said to be golden, but despite the cliche, maybe ‘golden parachutes’ don’t always work so well? And … dead men tell no awkward truths. Sometimes, news headlines read more like an overblown Robert Ludlum thriller. At least one of them might be fiction. And I dare you not to wonder … what’s in the next chapter.
Mysterious Series of Deaths in Banking Industry
March 21, 2014
In the final week of January 2014 two current executives and one retired top level executive of major financial firms were found dead. Both media and police quickly tagged the deaths as likely suicides. Missing from the reports is the striking fact that all three of the financial firms that the executives worked for are under investigation for possibly momentous financial fraud.
The deaths began on Sunday, January 26. London police reported that William Broeksmit, a top executive at Deutsche Bank who retired in 2013, was found hanged at his residence in South London. The next day, Eric Ben-Artzi, a former risk analyst turned whistleblower at Deutsche Bank, was scheduled to speak at Auburn University in Alabama on his assertions that Deutsche had hidden $12 billion in losses during the financial crisis with the knowledge of senior executives. Two other whistleblowers at Deutsche brought similar charges.
Deutsche Bank is also under investigation by global regulators for rigging foreign exchange markets. In 2013 Deutsche settled charges of rigging the Libor interest rate.
Two days after Broeksmit’s death, 39-year old Gabriel Magee, a Vice President at JPMorgan in London, fell from the roof of the bank’s 33-story European headquarters. Magee was involved in “Technical architecture oversight for planning, development, and operation of systems for fixed income securities and interest rate derivatives.”
JPMorgan is under the same global investigation for possibly manipulating foreign exchange rates. The firm is also apparently under an investigation by the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations for its involvement in possible misconduct in physical commodities markets.
One day after Magee’s death, on Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 50-year old Michael Dueker, Chief Economist at Russell Investments, reportedly died from a 50-foot fall from a highway ramp down an embankment in Washington state.
Pam Martens, “A Rash of Deaths and a Missing Reporter—With Ties to Wall Street Investigations,” Wall Street on Parade, February 4, 2014, http://wallstreetonparade.com/2014/02/a-rash-of-deaths-and-a-missing-reporter-%E2%80%93-with-ties-to-wall-street-investigations/.
Pam Martens, “Suspicious Death of JPMorgan Vice President, Gabriel Magee, Under Investigation in London,” Wall Street on Parade, February 9, 2014, http://wallstreetonparade.com/2014/02/suspicious-death-of-jpmorgan-vice-president-gabriel-magee-under-investigation-in-london/.
Pam Martens, “JPMorgan Vice President’s Death in London Shines a Light on the Bank’s Close Ties to the CIA,” Wall Street on Parade, February 12, 2014, http://wallstreetonparade.com/2014/02/jpmorgan-vice-president’s-death-in-london-shines-a-light-on-the-bank’s-close-ties-to-the-cia/.
Student Researcher: Alexandra J. Johnson (Florida Atlantic University)
Faculty Evaluator: James F. Tracy (Florida Atlantic University)