There are many kinds of war fought in the world some with words, some with weapons, and some curiously silent but no less deadly. Recently we talked about a oddity in the banking world. Being curious as usual, I could not let this rest without checking it out. This is what I found.
In 2007 we all know many financial problems cropped up over the globe. From Madoff’s Ponzi scheme to missing investments, the world rocked and nearly collapsed from shaky banking, wildly tumbling stocks, and out of control real estate deals. Nothing has been settled even 7 years later though life has settled just a bit; but many believe disaster still waits like a crouching tiger hungry for the next meal. Rockefeller, J P Morgan, and Rothschild were powerhouse names that came to prominence at the beginning of the twentieth century by amassing massive fortunes. Today those names still have great sway in the financial world too. Their names, like Madoff’s, also seem to hover in the background in some of these deaths from a few writers. This time not so much for great accomplishments but in less favorable light.
Banking, finance, and it’s spinoffs in the rarified upper tiers appear to be extremely stressful, time consuming, and dangerous. Between 2007 and 2013, I am sure there were deaths in their world but I started at 2013 to simply limit my effort. I began with the thought of a quick note and ended with a time-consuming project. It is coincidental if 5 or 6 people in an industry such as banking die in a year. The world is large and full of banks. But, Is it coincidental when banking related deaths begin and increase per calendar year.
Strange true stories happen every day somewhere in the world. This though caught my imagination. Could massive workloads, personal stress, or unreasonable demands for performance, actually create a climate of unusual suicide statistics? Another thought would be guilt and shame over getting caught diverting and stealing funds. But there may be another answer, one not as yet well known or perhaps already making its way through legal channels, the systematic cleansing of people in finance and banking for some reason. One proposed link between the unusually high deaths, I found quite disturbing. It was vilified by those who wrote several articles: death benefits in most of the mightiest companies were said to have been paid not to families but written for payment to the companies who they worked for at their death which might result in potentiall 100’s of millions returned to a company. I can not address that nor any legal issues.
In the years beginning January 2013 and continuing until today, a curious thing has happened. Given deaths being reported from many corners of the global financial world (China to the United States and all major banking areas between), a total of 83 deaths have been recorded so far. I won’t list by name, that is an arduous and mind numbing task when several lists can be found across the internet. I did track them down and made sure the deaths had actual notices before I added them to these numbers I am going to list.
There are things to keep in mind; first, over half were active, healthy men and women between 30-50 years old; second, top executives normally receive extremely good health coverage and receive exams yearly; third, most were well respected in their positions and communities; and fourth, which is most important, many were family-oriented who often were active in helping their communities. Yet a great many were listed as suicides. A few were said to pass from oddly similarly worded health issues or fast killing unexplained illnesses. (I say oddly because these deaths were global not in a small area of a country and yet used same or similar turn of phrase for heart attack or stroke.) None I have listed had long term illnesses. Only 3-4 were over 50 at the time of their death but again oddly some chose suicide. The reports of death were listed in print as being determined by police and coroners so without knowing the facts I can only go by what was printed. There were 3 journalist I listed in 2014 and 4 in 2015 who were noted for their war, financial, or oil exposes.
2013: Suicides 8, Killed 6, Unexplained 2, Health 5, Accident 10, Total 31
2014: Suicides 18, Killed 12, Missing presumed dead 1, Unexplained 4, Health 2, Accidents 4, Total 41
2015: (01/01-2/15) Suicides 3, Killed 1, Health 3, Accidents 4, Total 11
A few companies like ABN/AMRO have had 2 or more lost in those years. But No One has sustained the loss of employees like J P Morgan. J P MORGAN lost: 2013 – 4; 2014 – 9; 2015 – 3.
So, I leave you with a thought to ponder—want to apply as a banking executive, there may be spots opening in the near future…..