Synthetic CDOs, seen as particularly risky, both for a bank’s balance sheet and its reputation, also have seen a wave of fresh investment this year as investors look for ways to bet on corporate defaults and generate yield. “Trading volumes in synthetic collateralized debt obligations linked to credit indexes are up 40% this year, according to JP Morgan, after topping US$200bn in 2018 on the back of three years of double-digit growth. Meanwhile, analysts predict more than US$100bn in sales of bespoke synthetic CDOs in 2019 following an estimated US$80bn of issuance last year.”

[March 17 2013 Drew pins London Whale on machinations ]

Ina Drew at age 36

A Senate subcommittee is asking how JPMorgan Chase
could have allowed its traders to manipulate risk metrics to such a degree and mislead senior executives about the potential losses in the massive synthetic credit portfolio that ultimately totaled $6.2 billion. In her first appearance since the fiasco cost her job former head of the bank’s Chief Investment Office Ina Drew pinned the blame on the machinations of her underlings to hide the losses.
Those machinations included mis-marking of prices on the synthetic credit portfolio. Rather than at the midpoint of bid/ask spreads the London traders were marking trades on the extreme ends of daily ranges at the most advantageous levels possible.
a $1.2 billion loss on the London Whale trades at one point, but Drew told the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) losses were just $580 million at that point. Her reported compensation for 2011 was $14 million. May 14 (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Investment Officer Ina Drew retired on Monday, the first casualty after the bank suffered trading losses that could reach $3 billion or more and that have tarnished the reputation of high-profile Chief Executive Jamie Dimon.

[July 11 2012]

A DNA sample found at the 2004 murder scene of Juilliard student Sarah Fox has been matched to a separate sample taken at a recent Occupy Wall Street protest in Brooklyn,

The new discovery does not shake investigators’ belief that Dimitry Sheinman is the No. 1 suspect in the case,

Investigators have not yet been able to identify whose DNA was on the CD player and the chain, but they determined it doesn’t belong to Sheinman.
The new DNA sample was found on a chain used to prop open the gates at the Beverly Road subway station in East Flatbush during an Occupy Wall Street protest designed to let straphangers ride for free back in March,

The sample does not belong to any of Fox’s immediate friends or roommates, sources said.
Investigators were also working with several theories that could account for the match. For example, since Fox was a college student, the DNA could have gotten onto her device at school, and that person could later have become involved with Occupy Wall Street, sources said.
The CD player and the chain could also have been touched by the same cop, who had some connection to the murder scene and the chain, sources said. The origin of the chain has not yet been determined.
Whoever the person is, he has not been arrested previously, and has not shown up in any criminal DNA database.
Should the person be ID’d, investigators do want to talk to him, sources said.

Anyone in the subway that day could have touched the chain and left DNA. What is interesting is that they did DNA testing on items left from a protest action.

[December 20]Jamie Dimon, the highest-paid chief executive officer among the heads of the six biggest U.S. banks, turned a question at an investors’ conference in New York this month into an occasion to defend wealth.
“Acting like everyone who’s been successful is bad and because you’re rich you’re bad, I don’t understand it,” the JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) CEO told an audience member who asked about hostility toward bankers. “Sometimes there’s a bad apple, yet we denigrate the whole.”

Jamie Dimon’s Next JP Morgan Nightmare
Dimon, 55, whose 2010 compensation was $23 million, joined billionaires including hedge-fund manager John Paulson and Home Depot Inc. (HD) co-founder Bernard Marcus in using speeches, open letters and television appearances to defend themselves and the richest 1 percent of the population targeted by Occupy Wall Street demonstrators.

ELIJAH E. CUMMINGS, in his official capacity
as Chairman of the House Committee on
Oversight and Reform

“Regarding the House Oversight Committee’s request for the Trump Organization’s financial records from its accounting firm Mazars USA LLP. Mr. Cox opines that short of a subpoena, the firm is unlikely to comply with a letter request from the committee. Under state statutes and regulations, accountants have a duty to maintain the confidentiality of client confidential information. Mr. Cox states that there are certain exceptions under the AICPA’s ethics rules where an accountant can turn over records in response to a subpoena or documents that are already publicly available.”

Mazars, through its outside counsel, wrote back to Chairman Cummings on March 27.
Mazars informed Chairman Cummings that it “cannot voluntarily turn over the documents….Despite the Ranking Members’ objections, Chairman Cummings issued the subpoena to Mazars”


a pitiful and infuriating end during Avengers: Endgame. ROSIE KNIGHT

a hasty exit for a long-sidelined heroine who has for years deserved better. by LAURA BRADLEY

it was a hasty exit for a long-sidelined heroine who has for years deserved better.
Even more insultingly, the only continuous Avenger who still hasn’t gotten her own movie—though one’s been promised for years and may yet happen—gets a fraction of the mourning that Tony Stark enjoys. Black Widow gets a single mention. Her disappearance from the movie couldn’t have been more abrupt if Scarlett Johansson had magically vanished from the set midway through shooting. INKOO KANG

Marvel has come disappointingly late to being an inclusive franchise, and their steps are still baby steps, but Black Widow’s death feels even more regressive. Hemal Jhaveri

its callous handling of Black Widow stands out. It’s a sad end to one of the MCU’s eternally underserved characters. Alex Leadbeater

Between Infinity War and Endgame, it’s well established that when someone is sacrificed on Vormir for the Soul Stone, that person stays dead. Black Widow and Hawkeye fought to sacrifice themselves for the Soul Stone, but eventually Black Widow “won” that battle and gave her life to get the stone for the rest of the team. It’s then established that the stones don’t work in bringing people back from the dead, or at least not someone who died to get the Soul Stone on Vormir. MATT GOLDBERG

The Role of Women in the Art of Ancient Greece
Including Amazons, Goddesses, Nymphs, and Archaic Females from Mycenaen and Minoan Cultures

Unicredit SpA’s German unit’s guilty pleas are connected to violations of U.S. sanctions programs, including those related to IRISL, the state-owned Iranian shipping company sanctioned over weapons of mass destruction, authorities said.

UniCredit’s German unit went to “great lengths” to help the Iranian shipping company evade sanctions and access the U.S. financial system, said U.S. Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski.

[November 7 2018 new sanctions go into force ]

Screenshot 2018-11-07 at 10.32.07 AM - Edited


U.S. Treasury Department has published a new list of blacklisted Iranian entities. According to vessel-tracking services, the Iranian-owned fleet has “gone dark” and turned off its AIS transponders. As eight American trading partners have waivers to permit continued imports of Iranian crude, and a small number of other buyers will likely attempt to evade the sanctions regime, a subset of NITC’s vessels will likely have cargoes and commercial voyages for the foreseeable future. Iran has resumed the practice of renaming and transferring ownership of its vessels in order to keep its commerce flowing, as it did during the previous round of sanctions. Four ships on the new blacklist recently underwent name changes and partial ownership changes, but are still IRISL property. “The global maritime industry should be on alert for Iran’s use of such tactics and make every effort to thwart Iran’s use of their jurisdictions to create front companies; to revoke their flags from IRISL and NITC vessels; and to deny other means that enable Iran to conceal its interest in the vessels,” Treasury warned.

[August 20 2018   China to keep buying Iranian crude despite U.S. sanctions   ]

Image result for National Iranian Tanker Co (NITC)

Chinese buyers of Iranian oil are starting to shift their cargoes to vessels owned by National Iranian Tanker Co (NITC), Iran used a similar system between 2012 and 2016 to circumvent Western-led sanctions which were effective in curtailing exports because of a lack of insurance for the shipments.

It was not immediately clear how Iran would provide insurance for the Chinese oil purchases, worth some $1.5 billion a month. Insurance usually includes cover for the oil cargoes, third-party liability and pollution.
A ban on Iranian oil purchases will start in November. Insurers, which are mainly U.S. or European based, have already begun winding down their Iranian business to comply with the sanctions.

[August 19 Blacklist for Iran from Financiers? ]


Iran has been trying to implement standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental organization which underpins regimes combating money laundering and terrorist financing. It hopes it will be removed from a blacklist that makes some foreign investors reluctant to deal with it. Resistance to compliance with FATF standards argues it could hamper Iranian financial support for allies such as Lebanons Hezbollah

In June, FATF said Iran had until October to complete the reforms or face consequences that could further deter investors from the country, which has already been hit by the return of U.S. sanctions.

We expect Iran to enact amendments to its AML and CFT laws and ratify the Palermo and TF Conventions in full compliance with the FATF Standards by October 2018, otherwise, the FATF will decide upon appropriate and necessary actions at that time. [anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT)] [money laundering and financing of terrorism (ML/FT)] [United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC)-Palermo]



Offshore banks in Puerto Rico are able to open accounts with the Fed since the island is a U.S. territory. That gives them a competitive advantage over other offshore banking jurisdictions like the British Virgin Islands, which have to access the U.S. financial system through expensive third-party correspondent banks. Sixteen of Puerto Rico’s 80 offshore banking and financial services firms are owned by Venezuelan individuals or companies, according to corporate registry records, and directors’ LinkedIn pages and personal websites. In July of 2018 DOJ charged Uruguayan national Marcelo Gutierrez with allegedly conspiring to launder funds embezzled from Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA through a “bank in Puerto Rico” that he owned [Vestin Bank International], according to criminal investigation filings in Florida federal court. In February 2019, the FBI raided Puerto Rican offshore bank Banco San Juan International (BSJI) as part of a probe of money laundering and evasion of Venezuela-related sanctions. In 2016, BSJI reached a $300 million credit agreement with PDVSA, according to PDVSA’s financial statements from that year.


Screenshot 2018-12-14 at 10.34.31 AM - Edited

Michael Farmer, the London-based hedge fund manager and Conservative Party co-treasurer, photographed in his Red Kite Capital Management office in the City of London. Dubbed ‘Mr Copper’ he is one of Britain’s richest men.

“Legal proceedings between the Red Kite group as Claimants and Barclays Bank PLC as Defendant have been concluded on mutually acceptable terms,” Barclays said in a statement, without giving details of the settlement. Red Kite in 2017 sued Barclays for $850 million,

[April 18 2019 says Barclays used ‘ramping’ in copper trades ]

Barclays Bank PLC has been ordered by London’s High Court to carry out disclosure searches for documents relating to four former traders’ bonuses and appraisals. The fund has alleged that a practice known as “ramping” took place in 2010 [to give the impression of voluminous trading], where copper contracts were bid up so that the closing valuations appeared higher than they would have otherwise. The case is not due to go to trial before 2020.

The case is Red Kite Management Ltd. v. Barclays Bank Plc, High Court of Justice Queen’s Bench Division, CL-2016-000408

[December 14 2018 unearths Barclay’s losses ]
Iain Macrae, who ran metals trading at Barclays until his firing in 2011, was let go “for irresponsible risk taking” that led to a $327 million loss. Macrae’s colleague Christian Saunders, a copper trader at the bank’s Canary Wharf desk, also suffered losses totaling $69.2 million was “summarily dismissed,” citing Barclays documents. Red Kite’s $850 million lawsuit has unearthed these trading losses at Barclays Plc.

Hedge fund Red Kite has filed a lawsuit against Barclays Plc, alleging the bank manipulated the copper market to its advantage, causing the hedge fund to lose $850 million.


$2.3 billion

Former UBS Group AG trader Kweku Adoboli, who was convicted for causing a $2.3 billion loss at the bank, arrived November 15, 2018, in Ghana — the place of his birth — after losing a legal fight to stay in Britain.


[September 18 2019   stayed   ]

 Kweku Adoboli was released from prison in June

Kweku Adoboli

With the hours ticking down to his deportation, Adoboli’s lawyers submitted an application for a judicial review of his case a judge granted the appeal for judicial review and injunction against deportation. Kweku Adoboli was the banker convicted of the UK’s biggest fraud but there were appeals from 132 MPs and a petition signed by more than 73,000 people and he expects to be released on bail until the outcome of the judicial review, he was facing deportation because he had never applied for British citizenship despite having lived in the UK since he was 12.

[Octpber 12 2015   may be deported   ]

Kweku Adoboli, a former UBS Group AG trader who caused a $2.3 billion loss through unauthorized trading, will fight a U.K. immigration tribunal’s decision to deport him to Ghana.
Adoboli, who was sentenced to seven years in prison in Nov. 2012, will lodge an appeal against the ruling handed down last week, his lawyer, Paul Lennon of London-based Bark & Co. said by e-mail. Ghana-born Adoboli was released from prison in June.
Adoboli was convicted of two counts of fraud for causing the loss at UBS’s London unit. He argued at trial that managers at Zurich-based UBS pushed him to take too many risks and that rule-breaking at the bank was rampant. While he admitted causing the loss, he said it wasn’t done dishonestly.
Though Adoboli has lived in England for 23 years, he doesn’t hold British citizenship.

[December 09 2012 UBS trader Kweku Adoboli’s boss claims racial discrimination]
Ronald Greenidge, the former UBS AG (UBSN) managing director fired for gross misconduct in his supervision of convicted trader Kweku Adoboli has sued the bank claiming it treated him more harshly than others because he’s black.
Greenidge, who was UBS’s head of European cash trading, alleges race discrimination and unfair dismissal. “There are stark discrepancies” between UBS’s treatment of Greenidge and other people connected to Kweku Adoboli, according to the complaint. Greenidge “is of black Caribbean origin. Mr. Adoboli is of black African origin. The claimant believes he has been treated less favorably than his” white counterparts.
Adoboli, originally from Ghana, was sentenced to seven years in prison on Nov. 20 for fraud tied to a $2.3 billion loss, the largest from unauthorized trading in U.K. history

Chief executive Sergio Ermotti has moved to shut down most of UBS’s fixed income business, cut 10,000 jobs, and instead squeeze more juice from its wealth operations. Elsewhere Dexia is in exclusive talks over the sale of its asset management unit to private equity firm GCS Capital, Credit Suisse has reportedly put its $17bn exchange traded fund arm on the market, while Deutsche tried and rather miserably failed to offload large chunks of its asset management operations.

[January 30]
Alleged rogue trader Kweku Adoboli has pleaded not guilty to two charges of false accounting and two of fraud while working for Swiss bank UBS.
[October 5 2011]UBS AG (UBSN), Switzerland’s biggest bank, said Francois Gouws and Yassine Bouhara resigned as co-heads of global equities following the $2.3 billion unauthorized trading loss detected last month.

[Sept. 24]Oswald Gruebel, chief executive officer of UBS AG (UBSN) since February 2009, resigned his post at Switzerland’s largest bank after a $2.3 billion loss from unauthorized trading.

He will be replaced on an interim basis by Sergio P. Ermotti, the bank’s CEO for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, UBS said

UBS’s Americas investment-banking division will spend part of the week golfing at California resort Pebble Beach with the company’s top clients

Now 2.3 bn: UBS trader Kweku Adoboli had no hedges in place , breaching the risk limits, then entered “fictitious” hedges. The UBS statement claimed Mr Adoboli had conducted legitimate derivative transactions, giving the bank heavy exposure to various stock market indexes. But he had then entered “fictitious” hedges against these positions into UBS’ risk management system, while in reality he had no hedge in place and was breaching the risk limits that the bank required him to work within.

UBS, for example, is offering managing directors base pay as high as 300,000 pounds ($470,000), double the amount of last May. [February 2010]
“How are you going to explain to your shareholders and employees that you’ve lost this amount from the acts of a single young employee in a trading room?”
City experts questioned how many other rogue trader cases never get exposed. Onno Steenbeck of Erasmus University in Rotterdam, a co-author of a paper on Leeson’s strategy, said: “Leeson believed in doubling up, like a naive gambler. He sometimes got lucky and got out of the misery but nobody knows how many Nick Leesons there are who got lucky and we never found out about.”
One current hedge fund trader, who declined to be named, added: “Of course there are bound to be people on the other side [of the UBS losses] who made miraculously large sums of money that weren’t authorised. They will be kept quiet. You won’t hear about it.”

His desk specialized in ETFs. But the alleged scheme centered not on the trading of those relatively plain-vanilla securities but on the hedging of risk, people familiar with the matter said. The false accounting charges, said to have taken place between October 2008 and December 2009, and January 2010 and September 2011, said UBS trader Kweku Adoboli had falsified “an exchange traded fund made or acquired for an accounting purpose” and falsified “an exchange traded fund transaction and other internal records.” UBS believes that the losses were accumulated in a large number of small trades over many months, not in one big deal.

As the City tough guy Paul Myners reportedly said, we never hear about the unauthorised rogue profits that arise from casino-style speculations – only about the rogue losses that are adding to market instability at a really unhelpful time.
Whether UBS is shown to have been aware of Adoboli’s trading is almost beside the point. If the bank was aware of it and did not stop it, then its failure to do so is unconscionable. If it was not aware of the trades, then its compliance and risk management departments’ failure to prevent them from happening in the first place is equally appalling.
In the post-Lehman, Dodd-Frank, Basel-III era, it is nearly unfathomable that a global bank of UBS’s heft, wealth and importance could allow this kind of loss to occur. Where were the adults?
>>>If it was possible there, where else?