John Sandman


John Sandman was born in Camden, New Jersey. His first novel, Eating Out, was published by House of Anansi Press in Toronto, publisher of the early work of Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje. Other novels include Fords Eat Chevs from Ottawa-based Oberon Press, Declining Gracefully, published in Toronto by Coach House Press and Praying for Rain, brought out by Birch Brook Press of Delhi, New York. A novel excerpt, Georgette and Winnie Slept Here, is published on Amazon Kindle.

In the 1980s he produced two documentaries for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s radio show "Variety Tonight" about doo wop music and rhythm & blues variants that were eclipsed by the Beatles and their British invasion counterparts. He wrote for Goldmine, Down Beat, the North Jersey Herald & News, where he reported on the demise of New Jersey organized crime figure Al Poro, Pharmacy Practice News and other publications. Many no longer exist, including Advanced Trading, Brooklyn Bridge, Institutional Trading Technology, New York Newsday, the New York Guardian and the New Jersey Reporter, where his story about New Jersey’s HIV testing policies was nominated for a New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists Award in 1995.

At London-based Waters Risk, now Waters Incisive Media, he covered the arrival of digital technologies on Wall Street and electronic communications networks (ECNs) that enabled trades to be matched on computers and were among the first disrupters of floor-based trading.

As standards editor for Security Industry News, once owned by the Thomson Corporation, a Thomson Reuters precursor, he was part of a team of reporters that won a 2002 Jesse H. Neal/​American Business Media Best News Coverage award for stories about the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center and its impact on the people and infrastructure in the financial markets. He wrote about operations, technology and compliance in the securities industry, from trade execution and settlement and the rise of High Frequency Trading to the Treasury Department’s anti-money laundering/​terrorist financing initiatives and the implementation of the USA Patriot Act by banks and broker-dealers. The paper closed in 2010.

He later wrote for London-based Investor Services Journal and Global Securities Lending, US News & World Report, AARP Magazine and other publications. A story on Internet payday lending in New York that appeared in City Limits won a Society of Silurians award in 2013. He also writes for about the student loan crisis, the role of the Department of Education, for-profit colleges and student loan servicers.

Works in progress include a novel set in New York during the year after 9/​11 from the perspective of an Internet start-up company that lost people in the attack. Another takes place during the 2008 financial crisis, with the transition to the new Yankee Stadium acting as a metaphor for the financialization of the US economy. He is also at work on a novel about Americans who went to Canada during the Vietnam War that begins during the 1968 Democratic Convention and ends with the deployment of Canadian troops to Afghanistan. He lives in Brooklyn.

Terrorist Finance Tracking, Five Years On

This story examines the scrutiny of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, a post 9/​11 data surveillance initiative managed by the Treasury Department and the CIA, which scrutinized financial transaction data managed by the Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT. It argues that resources should be used to examine money services businesses and other small-dollar remittance operations that interact with terrorist financing.

Selected Works

The student loan Kay Pigeon’s daughter Leenie got to attend film school in LA was supposed to make her life sublime. Instead it condemned her to debt after she graduated into the 2008 recession and a job in the food service industry.

Leenie’s loan, which Kay co-signed, plus the Wall Street trade paper she writes for are making her life miserable. That paper, SIN, is collapsing as Kay struggles with journalism’s transition from print to the internet at the start of the decade.

While Leenie is on the west coast waiting on tables, the phone in Kay’s New York apartment constantly rings with calls from the loan servicer in Pennsylvania, most often from call center rep Doris Morris. The payments, which Kay is responsible for, are being applied to the wrong loan. Kay gets no help from the peevish Doris, until she wants to dish about the corruption at the loan servicer. It’s Kay’s opportunity to write an expose—which may lead to another job—while getting to the bottom of her own problem.

Debt Collectors In Lovetakes a trip through Millennial debt, casino gambling, Occupy Wall Street, the excesses of the capital markets, early stage Alzheimer’s disease, the impact of social media on journalism and workplace gender conflict. When everyone has deserted her, the thing Kay can always count on is having to pay her daughter’s student loan.

When HIV/AIDS surfaced in South Africa during the 1990s, public health officials were slow to react.
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Consolidated Supervised Entities Program regulated investment bank holding companies such as Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. Critics say it contributed to the 2008 financial crisis.
In the wake of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, the Financial Information eXchange Protocol could have led examiners to the fraud.
By the mid-1990s, public health officials in the United States had become concerned that women of child-bearing years were at risk of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Yet family planning agencies were slow to recognize or react the needs of vulnerable clients. Name reporting of people being tested for HIV was thought to drive those who should have been tested underground.

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