On Tuesday, Gabriel Magee, a 39-year-old executive at JPMorgan's London office leaped to his death from atop the 33-story Canary Wharf skyscraper. He fell some 500 feet, landing on the roof of the ninth floor, where his mangled body would lay for hours until Scotland Yard officers removed the remains.
Two days earlier, on Sunday, William Broeksmit, 58, a former senior manager at Deutsche Bank, was found hanged in his South Kensington home, in central London.
The Daily Mail reports:
Magee was a vice president in the corporate and investment bank technology department having joined JP Morgan in 2004 and moved with the bank from the U.S. to Britain in 2007.
Broeksmit - who retired last February - was a former senior manager at Deutsche Bank and had lived in London many years. He started working for the bank in 1996 but left for a period of 7 years before returning in 2008.
Additionally, Business Insider recently reported: "Last week, a U.K.-based communications director at Swiss Re AG died. The cause of death has not been made public."
So, are we witnessing the early stages of a mass suicide by bankers, as occurred in this country after the financial collapse of 1929?
Are we headed out of this very long recession, into a depression?
Of course, no one really knows for certain, but given the fact that we are continuously losing more jobs in this country than we are gaining, as evident by the frightening fact that nearly 92 million Americans are out of the work force, one need not be a world-class economist to see the writing on the wall.
In fact, the labor participation rate is currently the lowest it has been since 1978.
Combine these sobering facts with news that banking giant HSBC is now limiting the amount of cash which customers can withdraw from their own accounts, and one is reminded of the frantic scene in the old Bailey Savings and Loan office in the timeless classic "A Wonderful Life."
The Washington Times recently reported on trouble one HSBC customer had in obtaining his own money:
Stephen Cotton...tried to withdraw £7,000 from his savings account to pay back a loan from his mother.
"When we presented them with the withdrawal slip, they declined to give us the money because we could not provide them with a satisfactory explanation for what the money was for," he said.
"I said, 'Can I have £5,000?' They said no. I said, 'Can I have £4,000?' They said no. And then I wrote one out for £3,000 and they said, 'OK, we’ll give you that,'" he said.
Incidentally, £3,000 is a little less than $5,000 US.
While all of these incidents may be mere coincidence, and we may not actually be headed for a worldwide financial collapse...there's also this rather cryptic Twitter message from internet news guru Matt Drudge:
Have an exit plan…"
Drudge Tweeted the simple four word message last weekend, setting off a fury of speculation as to exactly what he meant.
However, Drudge has not elaborated on his warning.