If the stock market were already crashing then it would be simple to blame the dismally sad rash of dead bankers in the last week on that – certainly that was reflected in 1929. However, for the third time in the last week, a senior financial executive has died in what appears to be a suicide. As Bloomberg reports, following the deaths of a JPMorgan senior manager (Tuesday) and a Deutsche Bank executive (Sunday), Russell Investments’ Chief Economist (and former Fed economist) Mike Dueker was found dead at the side of a highway in Washington State. Police said the death appeared to be a suicide.
Mike Dueker, the chief economist at Russell Investments, was found dead at the side of a highway that leads to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. He was 50.
He may have jumped over a 4-foot (1.2-meter) fence before falling down a 40- to 50-foot embankment, Pierce County Detective Ed Troyer said yesterday. He said the death appeared to be a suicide.
Dueker was reported missing on Jan. 29, and a group of friends had been searching for him along with law enforcement. Troyer said Dueker was having problems at work, without elaborating.
Dueker was in good standing at Russell, said Jennifer Tice, a company spokeswoman. She declined to comment on Troyer’s statement about Dueker’s work issues.
But as Michael Snyder noted recently, if the stock market was already crashing, it would be easy to blame the suicides on that. The world certainly remembers what happened during the crash of 1929…
Historically, bankers have been stereotyped as the most likely to commit suicide. This has a lot to do with the famous 1929 stock market crash, which resulted in 1,616 banks failing and more than 20,000 businesses going bankrupt.
The number of bankers committing suicide directly after the crash is thought to have been only around 20, with another 100 people connected to the financial industry dying at their own hand within the year.
Dueker had also been a research economist at the St. Louis Fed:
He published dozens of research papers over the past two decades, many on monetary policy, according to the St. Louis Fed’s website, which ranks him among the top 5 percent of economists by number of works published. His most-cited work was a 1997 paper titled “Strengthening the case for the yield curve as a predictor of U.S. recessions,” published by the reserve bank while he was a researcher there.
So, with stocks a mere 4% off their highs, are so many high ranking and well respected bankers committing suicide?