profane but enlightened

More Reasons For Dead Bankers

More Reasons For Dead Bankers

Wall Street On Parade (WSOP) article, Banking Deaths: Why JPMorgan Stands Out,” adds to possible reasons behind bankers’ demise!  In recent months, number of banker deaths , especially at JP Morgan, has been common reading fare and food for thought!  WSOP offers new insight into banker deaths:  “The series of strange deaths has brought unwelcome attention to the fact that mega banks like JPMorgan Chase are allowed to secretly collect life insurance proceeds on the lives of their employees, and former employees, without disclosing the amounts to the families, or the public, or their shareholders. (Other corporations are likewise engaged in this practice.) The payments are a closely guarded secret between the companies and the insurers who collect the lucrative premiums.”  Wow!  Are there dirty insurance secrets that not only solve problematic situations but add revenue to a challenged bank’s income stream?

WSOP article describes type of insurance:  “The death benefits among all U.S. corporations may now exceed $1 trillion and are growing annually. The practice is called Bank-Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) where banks are involved and Corporate-Owned Life Insurance (COLI) for other corporations. As we reported last month, just four of Wall Street’s largest banks (JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup) hold a total of $68.1 billion in Bank-Owned Life Insurance assets. According to Michael Myers, an expert on BOLI and COLI and a partner in the Houston, Texas law firm McClanahan Myers Espey, L.L.P., those assets could potentially mean that just these four banks are holding $681 billion in face amount of life insurance on their workers, or possibly even more.”  It’s important to consider whether insurance represents another angle in recent banker deaths?  It wouldn’t be first time for an insurance scheme, but certainly, an unsavory means to seek money!

The incentives are there for corporations to utilize insurance policies on employees, according to WSOP“The cash buildup in the policies (mostly universal or whole life) is recorded as tax free income to the company and the death benefit is also received tax free…BOLI and COLI have become known as dead peasant insur- ance because many companies are taking out policies on employees in bulk, often including rank and file workers.”

It certainly appears, corporations are seeking to manage additional income from life insurance: “And there is a grow- ing amount of anecdotal evidence that dodgy things are happening with the billions invested in mortality bets on bank workers. Reports are surfacing that the banks have opened ‘separate accounts’ and are personally managing the assets instead of paying out the premiums to an insurance company to manage. Ina Drew, the head of JPMorgan’s Chief Investment Office, reported on March 15, 2013 to the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that her office was managing $9 billion of the company’s corporate owned life insurance portfolio. The Chief Investment Office is the division that lost $6.2 billion trading exotic derivatives in London with depositor funds from the FDIC insured bank in the U.S,” as excerpted from WSOP article.  Wow!  What does this say about JP Morgan’s Chief Investment Office?   The moral of story, is perhaps, bank employment more unhealthy than just “suicide hazard” of working in a high stress environment!


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