Regulatory reform – a henhouse welcoming the fox (Updated)

A nationwide demand for increased transparency fueled the demand for system and regulatory reform.

  • As we move to coordinate with international standards will our financial and regulatory systems become more transparent or opaque?
  • When all is said and done, how much control will our government have over our nation’s financial and regulatory systems?

Editing note: Taking my lead from Sop, earlier today, I positioned two posts from our files at the top of the page as points of reference.  However, in preparation for the week ahead, I’ve added excerpts from both posts following these brief comments or you can click on the title will take you directly to the full post of  the Future of Insurance and Regulatory Reform (January 26, 2009) and All the World’s a Stage... (December 5, 2008 ) in our files.

Financial Regulation: A Framework for Crafting and Assessing Proposals to Modernize the Outdated U. S. Financial Regulatory System (GAO, February 4, 2009) contains a graphic depicting the increasingly global aspects of financial markets.

… with the increasingly global aspects of financial markets, the current fragmented U.S. regulatory structure has complicated some efforts to coordinate internationally with other regulators. For example, the current system has complicated the ability of financial regulators to convey a single U.S. position in international discussions, such the Basel Accords process for developing international capital standards, and international officials have also indicated that the lack of a single point of contact on, for example, insurance issues has complicated regulatory decision making.

Take a look at Key Developments and Resulting Challenges That Have Hindered the Effectiveness of the Financial Regulatory System.pages-from-gao-financial-structure

We’ve seen the frameworks, we need to see the picture – Continue reading “Regulatory reform – a henhouse welcoming the fox (Updated)”

The Sun Herald joins Slabbed in calling out State Senate Insurance Committee Chair Eugene “Buck” Clarke

Yep they did. I’ll add Lieutenant Gov. Phil Bryant put him there. Follow the money guys.

When Victor Hugo said that “there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come,” he obviously did not have the Mississippi Legislature in mind.

Among some legislators, especially committee chairmen, ideas are not nearly as powerful as politics.

This session’s prime example of that is Eugene S. “Buck” Clarke, the chairman of the insurance committee in the state Senate. Continue reading “The Sun Herald joins Slabbed in calling out State Senate Insurance Committee Chair Eugene “Buck” Clarke”

The Jawbone of an Ass: Unbridled Arrogance and Regulatory Capture at the NAIC.

With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men.

Let’s set this up with yesterday’s WaPo story on the extraordinary recent events at the NAIC:

Insurance regulators from across the country were scrambling yesterday to address a growing threat to insurance companies and the consumers who depend on them.

As the industry’s financial condition deteriorates, many companies have asked their home-state regulators for permission to change the way they measure and report their financial strength. Some regulators have expressed a willingness to grant it.

The requests have been pouring in since the National Association of Insurance Commissioners last week rejected the insurance lobby’s plea for blanket relief.

The public faces the chaotic prospect that insurance companies could be allowed to operate by different rules, and that rules meant to protect their financial stability could diverge sharply from state to state.

The situation is shaping up as a major challenge to the industry’s system of regulation, which is controlled at the state level.

The Consumer Federation of America and the Center for Economic Justice, an advocacy group for poor and minority consumers, yesterday told regulators that granting relief on a case-by-case basis could amount to regulators “anointing winners and losers” and could reward companies that managed their finances poorly at the expense of more successful competitors. Continue reading “The Jawbone of an Ass: Unbridled Arrogance and Regulatory Capture at the NAIC.”

Paper Moon or Death Star? The Farm Strikes Back in Florida

Sup was kind enough to email me his take on recent State Farm actions in Florida and IMHO is spot on. First let’s back up to Nowdy’s post yesterday which featured a recent article from the Insurance Journal:

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink is urging State Farm Florida to “immediately” let its agents do business with other insurance companies for their more than one million policyholders now that State Farm is withdrawing from the state.

But State Farm has rejected the idea.

Sink called State Farm Florida’s contracts with its agents “inappropriate” for limiting them to placing business only with State Farm but stopped short of calling the arrangement illegal.

Has State Farm really cast their agents adrift as Nowdy’s setup piece implies? Or are they an army of financial destruction? Sup pick’s it up from here:

One must read between the lines as to SF’s position on not provinding alternative markets for their agents with their recent decision to non-renew all Homeowner polices in FL. On the surface it seems like a simple business decision based on their contract and historically Direct Writers only allowed their agents to sell their products. Continue reading “Paper Moon or Death Star? The Farm Strikes Back in Florida”