You may recall that many months ago there was a spate of bankers dying under suspicious circumstances, while jogging, or “falling” (or being pushed) in front of trains, falling onto piked fences, jumping off of roofs, being shot in their cars, and so on. That pattern of strange deaths followed a spate of similar unusual deaths of so-called “homeopathic” doctors, which followed, years before that, a kill-off of biologists and geneticists, and if we want to go all the way back to the Reagan era, a spate of mysterious and suspicious deaths of high energy physicists.
Mr. S.D. noticed this article by Pam Martens, however, and passed it along, and yes, there’s been another odd banker death:
The interesting thing about this death (and the article covering the story) is that it puts us in a better position to speculate about what may be going on. The death itself concerns Mr. Douglas Arthur Carucci. And like many of the other suspicious banker deaths, he was involved in the information systems end of the banking business:
A 2015 bio that Carucci provided for a talk he was giving at the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, India, described his career as follows:
“Head of CEM Electronic Trading Technology at JP Morgan Chase, covering FX [foreign exchange], Commodities, and Emerging Markets. Mr. Carucci is responsible for a global team of engineers developing low latency trading technology. He began his career on Wall Street developing options trading systems while in high school and in the AMEX options pits while attending college. He spent 10 years building proprietary trading systems for FX and Interest Rates derivatives on Wall Street. Mr. Carucci served as Managing Director and Partner at Citadel Investment Group in Chicago for 10 years where he led the architecture and development of analytics and risk management systems across all business lines. He launched Citadel’s European Options Market Making and High Frequency trading business in London. He joined Sun Trading LLC in 2009 as head of Volatility Trading and lead the firm’s Quantitative Research group. Mr. Carucci received his degree in Finance from Baruch, City University of New York.”
While there has been nearly a complete news blackout on Carucci’s death, he shared common links to two other high profile deaths of JPMorgan Chase computer executives which were widely covered by global media outlets. Carucci knew a great deal about JPMorgan Chase’s technology infrastructure – putting him in a rarefied category at the bank – and he had previously worked in London. Both of those traits were also present in Julian Knott and Gabriel McGee – men whom it is likely that Carucci knew and/or interacted with prior to their own “tragic” deaths. (Italicized emphases added)
I have blogged, and talked, about my suspicions about the flash crashes, and other strange market behavior, and my chief concerns about algorithmic trading have boiled down to two points: (1) with volume and speed of trading that computerized trading makes possible, markets are no longer genuinely reflective of actual human trading, and this in turn affects the pricing mechanisms and risk assessments that humans use to calculate and weigh their investment alternatives; it badly skews the information; and (2) such computer algorithmic trading makes it possible to execute massive trades in a short amount of time, making lots of money for those able to execute such trades, massively increasingly liquidity in the system for the few able to do so. I will now share another high octane speculation I’ve had about the flash crashes, and that I’ve never shared before: what if they were tests to see how far algorithmic trading systems could go or be pressed before the automatic safeguards kicked in and trades were voided? Put differently, how far could markets be manipulated before such manipulation became “visible” to the human technocrats designing the architecture?
This brings us back to the italicized points emphasized in the quotation from the article above, for note what we have:
1) Someone involved in designing algorithmic trading systems for options;
2) Someone involved in designing proprietary algorithmic trading systems for FX, or foreign exchange, i.e., currency exchange, speculation, and trading;
3) Someone involved in designing algorithmic trading systems for interest rate derivatives(!);
4) Someone involved in designing computer systems to analyze and assess risk “across all business lines,” i.e., systems applicable to the entire spectrum of trading, from commodities, foreign exchange, equities, securities, and so on;
5) Someone who had been employed both in London and New York and who knew “a great deal about JP Morgan Chase’s technology infrastructure.”
Such an individual would be perfectly positioned to notice the deliberate manipulation of algorithmic trading for any purpose, and would also be perfectly positioned to observe “data correlations” of market activity with, say, political news, money laundering, currency or securities speculation, commodities movements, human trafficking… you name it. Additionally, because of his expertise, he would not only know what to look for, but what kinds of evidence to gather. And to round out this picture, he would also be in a position to detect hidden or unauthorized modification of the technology infrastructure by sources unknown, from external state actors to any other group, and to track what may really have happened to all that bailout money.
As the article alludes, an early speculation on why so many bankers – especially those with connections to information technology – were dying was that banks were simply “offing” them to collect on their BOLIs, Bank-Owned Life Insurance Policies. But, when compared to the numbered inventory outlined above, such a view really pales into insignificance when compared to the information potentially available to such people, and to the possibility that they saw or suspected something massive, and massively criminal, was taking place.
Ms. Martens begins her article with a strange series of conclusions, which to my mind seem to highlight these types of possibilities:
When you are the largest bank in the United States and you’ve been compared to the Gambino crime family in a book by two trial lawyers; when you’ve pleaded guilty to three criminal felony counts brought by the United States Justice Department in the past five years; when you’ve paid over $30 billion in fines over charges of crimes against the public and investors since 2008; and when you’ve had an unprecedented string of employees leaping to their death from buildings, dropping dead at home or on the street, and two alleged murder-suicides by employees — all in just the past five years – one might think that law enforcement might show some interest – especially since this employer – JPMorgan Chase – holds tens of billions of dollars of Bank-Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) on its workers. (This death benefit, by the way, pays tax-free to the corporation, not the employee’s family.)
But when it comes to JPMorgan Chase and law enforcement, there does not seem to be a morsel of curiosity over the continuing sudden deaths of its computer technology workers – no matter how high up the corporate ladder they rank or how many floors they are alleged to fall to their death.
While BOLI policies might be involved, I cannot help but think that this, for whomever is ordering these deaths, is merely the side benefit, but not the ultimate motivations for their actions. The real motivations lie, I strongly suspect, much deeper. Like Ms. Martens, I have to wonder why no agency or journalistic effort has been made to investigate the story, and I suspect that no investigation will be done, and that, once again, it will fall to the alternative research field to do so.
See you on the flip side…