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Janet Tavakoli
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

Entries by Janet Tavakoli

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

(1) Comments | Posted January 23, 2015 | 9:43 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 | 3:44 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 | 10:26 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 | 4:19 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 | 1:12 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

(1) Comments | Posted December 16, 2014 | 4:52 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 | 7:55 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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Fundamentalist Islam and the Roots of Terrorism

(7) Comments | Posted November 11, 2014 | 5:47 AM

After witnessing the Islamic Republic of Iran violate human rights, persecute other religions, adopt sharia law, murder dissenters, and compel the judiciary to serve the Ministry of Intelligence, I am now convinced that the worst thing that can happen to a free Western country is to allow Islamic...

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Eric Holder, Inspired By Michael Brown and James Woods, Issues Criminal Indictment

(472) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 12:45 PM

Attorney General Eric Holder traveled to Ferguson to demonstrate his resolve for a federal investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown. The evidence has yet to be evaluated by a grand jury, and no one wants to rush to judgment, but AG Holder will make sure the process is fair.

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Vibrant Tech Savvy Hispanic Market: Underserved for Kindle and Audio Books

(1) Comments | Posted August 5, 2014 | 11:21 AM

A couple of months ago I asked indie mystery authors how they are getting their books translated to Spanish. To my surprise, only a handful of authors were translating their books. I'll explain why in a moment.

Prosperous Growing Market

US Hispanics represent $1.3 trillion in rapidly...

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Jamie Dimon's Throat Cancer Highlights JPMorgan Leadership Gap

(1) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 11:09 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 | 7:16 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 | 9:56 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 | 9:10 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 | 8:48 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)

(0) Comments | Posted December 28, 2013 | 12:48 PM

Prologue: This article was published on December 28, 2013. In 2014, Chicago experienced a record number of shootings, many of them were not fatal. Sadly, many young children were shot, and some of those shootings were fatal. On the night of December 19, 2014, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's son was the...

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

(21) Comments | Posted December 17, 2013 | 8:19 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 | 9:44 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 | 7:15 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 | 9:18 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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