You may have heard about the rash of nine banker and financial-related deaths over the past few months. The CEO of a Bitcoin exchange, a title-services President, and investment bankers in Europe, Asia and the U.S. have all (allegedly) taken their lives.
At first glance, it doesn’t make sense. With the US stock market trading near all-time highs and residential real estate doing well, why would traders and executives in these successful industries want to end their lives?
Of all these nine deaths, one stood out in particular. From the Denver Post:
The founder and CEO of American Title Services in Centennial was found dead in his home this week, the result of self-inflicted wounds from a nail gun, according to the Arapahoe County coroner.
Richard Talley, 56, and the company he founded in 2001 were under investigation by state insurance regulators at the time of his death late Tuesday, an agency spokesman confirmed Thursday.
It was unclear how long the investigation had been ongoing or its primary focus.
A coroner’s spokeswoman Thursday said Talley was found in his garage by a family member who called authorities. They said Talley died from seven or eight self-inflicted wounds from a nail gun fired into his torso and head.
Also unclear is whether Talley’s suicide was related to the investigation by the Colorado Division of Insurance, which regulates title companies.
A nail gun is an extremely unusual way to commit suicide. How could anyone stay alive (or withstand the pain) to keep shooting multiple nails into his head and torso?
Common sense tells us that this probably wasn’t a suicide. Eight other financial-related deaths in a short period of time probably weren’t either. So what does this tell us – or what should we be on the lookout for – as watchful investors and citizens?
I believe at least some of these people were killed because of what they know… or what they might reveal to government investigators or the general public.
Mr. Talley’s death is also unusual because he’s the only one not directly related to the stock market or financial services. The only possible link would be financial derivatives such as mortgage-backed securities. They were freely traded around the country and around the world in the 2000s. There are currently over $1 quadrillion in financial derivatives on the books today.
There isn’t enough economic activity around the world to cover the value of these derivatives. There’s a good chance that the false prosperity in the stock and real estate markets could end quickly… if enough investors and financial entities had to make good on these unregulated bets.
No one knows when, where, or how these financial obligations will be resolved. Given the timing and severity of these financial-related deaths, the time for the endgame may be sooner than we think.