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Janet Tavakoli
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Janet Tavakoli is the president of Tavakoli Structured Finance, a Chicago-based firm that provides consulting to financial institutions and institutional investors. Ms. Tavakoli has more than 20 years of experience in senior investment banking positions, trading, structuring and marketing structured financial products. She is a former adjunct associate professor of derivatives at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business. Author of: Credit Derivatives & Synthetic Structures (1998, 2001), Collateralized Debt Obligations & Structured Finance (2003), Structured Finance & Collateralized Debt Obligations (John Wiley & Sons, September 2008). Tavakoli’s book on the causes of the global financial meltdown and how to fix it is: Dear Mr. Buffett: What an Investor Learns 1,269 Miles from Wall Street (Wiley, 2009). Her official web site is TavakoliStructuredFinance.com

Entries by Janet Tavakoli

Jamie Dimon's Throat Cancer Highlights JPMorgan Leadership Gap

(1) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 10:09 AM

Jamie Dimon is currently both chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase without a succession plan. You may also recall that prior to the London Whale debacle, JPMorgan Chase had no treasurer for several months.

Lymph Nodes Involved

In a letter to colleagues and shareholders excerpted below,...

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Bailout Economics: Predators Still Fattening on Prey

(4) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 6:16 AM

Almost six years after the financial crisis, JPMorgan, Citigroup, and Bank of America face potential fines of around $12 billion each for their role in mortgage malfeasance. In the context of the damage done and the bailout money poured into banks; the fines are miniscule and won't even...

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Rick Ungar Schools Barry Ritholtz for Soliciting Internet Sucker Bets on SEC v. Goldman Sachs

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2014 | 8:56 AM

On April 24, 2010, Rick Ungar, then writing at True Slant, 1 and Barry Ritholtz, a blogger at The Big Picture, 2 exchanged views.

At the time, Mr. Ungar was active as a lawyer. Barry Ritholtz had become disenchanted with being a lawyer, and although he passed the bar exam,...

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SEC Goes Rogue, Defies Congress

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 8:10 AM

The Jumpstart Our Business Starups Act, also known as the JOBS Act, is meant to spur growth of small businesses in the United States. A start-up for this purpose is currently defined as a business raising up to $50 million in capital. States' investment oversight has been on the front...

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2014: Investing in a World of Hyperaggressive Monetary Policy

(4) Comments | Posted January 7, 2014 | 7:48 AM

The growth of the U.S.'s bigger and broader productive economy has been stunted by bad policies and bank bailouts benefiting rent-seeking financiers siphoning off an outsized percentage of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP). Rent-seeking companies lobby Congress for subsidies for activities that do not benefit society. Moreover, beneficiaries of...

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Crime Statistics in Third World America (Update)

(12) Comments | Posted December 28, 2013 | 11:48 AM

Update: On April 2, 2014, Chicago Magazine published "The Truth About Chicago's Crime Statistics Part One," an exclusive exposé of the "nothing short of miraculous" drop in Chicago's reported crime statistics, Homicide statistics were fudged, and some of the lies are appalling whoppers. Part two was...

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Today's Bank Bailout Risk: Why Didn't We Stop This?

(21) Comments | Posted December 17, 2013 | 7:19 AM

JPMorgan's "London Whale" episode exploded the myth that managers of too-big-to-fail banks have risk under control. The London-based Chief Investment Office that unexpectedly lost $6 billion in 2012 due to oversized derivatives trades reported directly to CEO Jamie Dimon.

As traders increased their losing position, Dimon courted Congress...

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Alan Greenspan Played Daily Show's Jon Stewart (Update)

(63) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 8:44 AM

Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve board (August 1987 - January 31, 2006), recently appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Greenspan said he didn't see the financial crisis coming; he thought bankers would be better stewards of their capital. That was meant to be an apologia...

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Prince Harry Responds to Goldman Sachs

(2) Comments | Posted October 22, 2013 | 6:15 AM

Sandringham House

22nd October, 2013

Dear Unindicted Goldman Sachs,

I am taking this opportunity to thank you for your offer of a partnership position with Goldman Sachs. I include your original letter at the end of my response; you may wish to review it before proceeding. I realize you extended...

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Dollar Status in Doubt After Washington Antics

(25) Comments | Posted October 17, 2013 | 8:18 AM

Whenever we see another case of manipulation in the currency, energy, gold, commodities, interest rate, credit derivatives, securitization, or equity markets, management of the culprit financial institution inevitably blames it on "unauthorized" trading by one or more "rogue" traders.

Traders' salaries are low relative to the potential for seven...

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Banks and IMF Ganging Up on Sovereign Debtors

(42) Comments | Posted October 15, 2013 | 7:24 AM

The U.S never really minded if a Latin American oil minister took a kickback here or a bribe there to grease the wheels for a foreign oil company or an importer of hard liquor. Latin American taxpayers wouldn't notice. The money was really just an upfront golden parachute. No U.S....

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President Obama Might Ask Who Benefits From U.S. Debt Default

(497) Comments | Posted October 9, 2013 | 10:10 AM

Bloomberg News' Yalman Onaran wrote an article on Monday about the disaster that would unfold if we don't raise the debt ceiling and the U.S. has a technical default by missing an interest payment on U.S. Treasuries. James Kochan's quote summed up my feelings: "Well, holy cripes!" It...

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Congressman Cummings, 'AIG Can Crush You Like a Bug'

(51) Comments | Posted September 25, 2013 | 10:09 AM

It's a serious matter to say a company is lying on its financial statements. But AIG told big lies in August 2007. (More on that later.) So big that I met with Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, and called Warren Buffet, famed investor and Chairman and CEO...

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SEC Omitted Evidence Damaging to JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon

(26) Comments | Posted September 24, 2013 | 6:54 AM

The SEC filed a cease-and-desist order on September 19, 2013, in the matter of JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s "London Whale" credit derivatives trading incident and misstatement of earnings. JPMorgan admitted it violated securities laws and agreed to pay a $920 million settlement.

The release mentioned that JPMorgan filed...

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Why POTUS Allowed Bailouts Without Indictments

(100) Comments | Posted September 17, 2013 | 12:50 PM

In November 2008, President Obama was elected, and he was sworn in January 2009. The country was promised change and reform. Recently two Democrats close to the top of President Obama's administration made excuses to me for the lack of financial reform in the United States. Their separately related versions...

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Should We Help End Cuba's 'Special Period'?

(52) Comments | Posted September 13, 2013 | 7:18 AM

What is it like to live in a country where the government has been accused of torture, fickle application of the law to imprison citizens, unfair courts, repression of journalists, and a huge prison system? I'm not talking about the United States -- in case you thought I was --...

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Should Investors Own Gold?

(24) Comments | Posted September 5, 2013 | 9:12 AM

I prefer to own productive well-managed assets that produce things people want and need and buy regularly. I want management of businesses to be honest and free from greed. I'd like the global financial system to be free from fraud and manipulation. I'd like to live in a country where...

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Bernanke's Deposition: AIG, Goldman, Merrill and Bailouts

(57) Comments | Posted August 28, 2013 | 6:34 AM

The SEC has lost steam in its already very weak push against mortgage lenders and the investment banks that supplied them with money for alleged fraudulent lending. The investment banks supplied funds by allegedly defrauding investors in residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS), collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), CDO-squared (and more).

The...

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Bankers' Games: Manipulation and 'Litigation'

(24) Comments | Posted August 20, 2013 | 7:27 AM

Price manipulation is a time-honored tradition in structured finance. There will be abuse anytime there is a price "fixing" or a price set on the basis of a trade.

Instances of abuse are the dragons that "regulators" are supposed to constantly slay. When regulators are too slow, unwilling, or unable...

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Pope Francis: 'Gays Should Not Be Marginalized'

(0) Comments | Posted July 30, 2013 | 1:36 PM

In November 2012, I published a fiction mystery/thriller, Archangels: Rise of the Jesuits, about an attempt by the Jesuits to take over the Vatican and its bank. The book is well researched and was published before Pope Benedict XVI resigned and before Pope Francis I became the first...

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