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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

The Great Gold Conspiracy

(1) Comments | Posted April 26, 2016 | 8:15 AM

Deutsche Bank has been in the news again, this time for being part of a multi-bank ring that fixed gold and silver prices, an activity the Commodities Futures Trading Commission has not stopped even after "probing" and then closing probes, lately in September 2013, even though

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Global Risks and Short Trades

(0) Comments | Posted March 1, 2016 | 4:29 PM

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The Top Financial Journalist of 2015

(0) Comments | Posted January 1, 2016 | 2:48 PM

The winner of TSF's Top Financial Journalist of 2015 is David M. Herszenhorn at The New York Times for the December 16, 2015 article, "Budget Deal Raises Spending, and the Deficit, Through Tax Breaks."

It is a brief portrait of D.C.'s dysfunction and delusion followed by its...

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Apple Taxes Authors' Patience

(2) Comments | Posted December 3, 2015 | 2:59 PM

Authors who do not own Macs are out of luck if they want to directly sell iBooks in Apple's iTunes store. (This applies to direct sales that eliminate a middleman distributor.) Authors must either rent a virtual Mac, or buy one in order to do something as simple as upload...

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Iranian Americans Ask Hillary Clinton to Clarify Democratic Debate Comment

(0) Comments | Posted October 15, 2015 | 10:31 AM

My last name is Iranian. I was born and raised Catholic in the USA to parents of northern European heritage. After I divorced my Iranian (now ex) husband, I kept my last name. Because I was married to an Iranian, I became an automatic citizen of Iran, formerly known as...

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Queen Elizabeth II: Credit and Character

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2015 | 12:00 AM

On September 8, Bloomberg News published an article about the unfortunate resurgence of Liar Loans in the mortgage market. Character is the most important of all of the four C's of credit: character, capacity, collateral, and capital. Even if misfortune destroys the latter three, people of good character...

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Donald Trump Wins, and So Do We

(48) Comments | Posted August 18, 2015 | 11:08 AM

After the GOP debate broadcast on Fox News on Thursday, August 6, 2016, I polled my legacy contact list for their opinion on who won. My poll is tiny, informal, nonrandomized, unscientific, and not representative of the general population. The respondents are males, mostly aged 25-50 (a few are older,...

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Wall Street Tale of Sex, Suicides, and Skullduggery

(2) Comments | Posted July 21, 2015 | 8:46 AM

I fled the Islamic Republic of Iran with a suitcase, a thousand dollars, and no regrets. But it wasn't easy; I had to rebuild my life from scratch. Less than ten years later, I faced a decision that threatened to erase most of what I had accomplished, and I hesitated...

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Red Flags Fly Over Deutsche Bank

(1) Comments | Posted June 4, 2015 | 2:39 PM

Only a small part of Decisions: Life and Death on Wall Street is about Deutsche Bank, but 100 percent of subsequent push back and phishing attempts-for private, off-the-record, confidential conversations to "get your take" have been about Deutsche Bank and done in the creepiest possible way. (See also...

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Amazon Kindle Singles: Delicious Snackable Stories

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2015 | 12:47 PM

Why would a traditionally published author give exclusivity to Amazon for a new book? I thought I knew the answer, but I discovered the reasons are as varied as writers and book genres.

Publish In a New Genre

I'm a successful finance trade book author published...

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9 Reasons Silicon Valley Should Move to Chicago

(6) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 9:29 PM

Are you tired of living in Silicon Valley's tech bubble? Do you want to be part of a growing startup-friendly tech hub? Come to Chicago! Here are nine more reasons to make the move:

Water: Chicago has water. Lots of water. Take lots of guilt-free long hot showers. Spring...

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Federal Reserve Board Unveils Headache-Free QE Math

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2015 | 12:35 AM

Release Date: March 10, 2015 (satire)

For release at 10:00 a.m. ET

The Federal Reserve Board We-Hate-Math Committee announced the true purpose behind QE.

Do derivatives confuse you? Do you hate bond math? We feel the same way! So we simplified your life with headache free QE math. Compound rates,...

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Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard: Profile in Courage

(1) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 8:36 AM

"The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name."
- Confucious

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) voluntarily served two tours of combat duty in Iraq and currently serves on the House Armed Services Committee.

In a televised interview, she explained that the White House...

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Douglas Murray Defends Free Speech to Those Who Question Why You Exercise Your Freedom

(2) Comments | Posted January 23, 2015 | 8:43 AM


British journalist Douglas Murray provides a brilliant example of how to push back against a perverse narrative, after the Paris murders of journalists and Jews by fundamentalist Muslims.

Murray begins by rejecting the premise of the first question posed by the Al Jazeera host, and he continues to appropriately frame the narrative from there.

Al Jazeera Host: "Do you think this attack will underscore the message of the far right in Europe at least of the incompatibility of Islam and the West or Western values?

Douglas Murray: That's a pretty atrocious question if I may say so. We're about 24 hours away from twelve people being gunned down in a newspaper office in the center of Paris in a European city, because they offended, allegedly, Islamic blasphemy laws, blasphemy laws which France, Britain, and other European countries do not have, and do not believe in, and do not follow.

And for you to turn the question immediately, not on the people who have been massacred because of asserting their rights as European French citizens, but on to the alleged terrible discrimination of the French is really quite despicable.

See Also: "Fundamentalist Islam and the Roots of Terrorism"

Janet Tavakoli is the author of Unveiled Threat: A Personal Experience of Fundamentalist Islam and the Roots of...

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Swiss National Bank: Well Played!

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2015 | 2:44 PM

The Swiss are being Swiss, meaning the Swiss National Bank (SNB), unlike most other Central Bankers, haven't completely lost their minds. Yesterday, the Swiss National Bank lifted the cap on the franc versus the euro. In other words, SNB decided it was the right time to stop playing...

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Expert Witness: Litigation Games for Credit Derivatives and Structured Finance

(1) Comments | Posted January 4, 2015 | 9:26 AM

After a plaintiff lost a meritless credit derivatives case, I asked a senior executive why he tried to shake-down the innocent defendant for a payment on a credit event that never actually happened. He said he had the budget to litigate, and "it was a long shot, but anything can...

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Financial Journalism: Best of 2014

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 3:19 PM

Last year, Allan Sloan, Fortune's Senior Editor at Large, was Tavakoli Structured Finance's choice for the Top Financial Journalist of 2013. He wrote an article on the hangover of the Chicago Tribune's leveraged buyout ("Zell's legacy lives on: IRS goes...

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Vladimir Putin Won't Waste a Crisis

(1) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 12:12 PM

What do you do when the ruble is in free fall, and your panicky population is buying up consumer goods and foreign currency? If you are President Vladimir Putin, you get a facial, a manicure, a make-up artist and make a jingoistic video ahead of your Thursday press...

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Der fundamentalistische Islam und die Wurzeln des Terrorismus

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2014 | 3:52 AM

Nachdem ich selbst Zeuge wurde, wie die Islamische Republik Iran Menschenrechte verletzt, andere Religionen verfolgt, die Scharia als gesetzliche Instanz einführt, Andersdenkende hinrichtet und die Judikative verpflichtet, sich dem Geheimdienstministerium unterzuordnen, bin ich überzeugt davon, dass einem freien westlichen Land nichts Schlimmeres passieren könnte, als islamischen Fundamentalisten zu...

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Versteckte Bankrisiken und das nächste Rettungspaket

(0) Comments | Posted December 12, 2014 | 6:55 PM

JPMorgans „London Wal"-Episode entlarvte den Mythos, dass die Manager der Banken das Risiko unter Kontrolle haben, als falsch. Das Londoner Chief Investment Office, das im Jahr 2012 unerwartet $ 6 Milliarden wegen übergroßer Kreditderivat-Transaktionen verlor, berichtet direkt an CEO Jamie Dimon.

Als sich bei Händlern verlustbringende Geschäfte mehrten,...

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