Mississippi’s just us justice – final

Patsy Brumfield of the Journal reports on today’s events in the just-us-justice system of Mississippi.

Timothy Balducci and Steven Patterson will do prison time, despite their cooperation into the infamous conspiracy to bribe Circuit Judge Henry Lackey of Calhoun City.

Their sentences were set today by Senior U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers Jr. today at the federal courthouse in Oxford.

• Balducci, formerly of New Albany, will serve 24 months in prison. Balducci was given no fine, because records showed he could not pay one.

• Patterson of New Albany will serve 24 months in prison. Patterson was also given a $150,000 fine.

Justice or just-us-justice?  It’s really hard for me to say –  not for lack of thought or thought-provoking comment from others here on the blog and off-blog as well.  However, there often is a difference between justice as commonly defined and the sometimes just-us-justice here – a difference that is one of the many that make Mississippi the “State of Paradox”.

We’ve birthed the blue; performed the first successful heart transplant: and, bottled the firt coca-cola – but even considering USA v Scruggs and all its implications, we are better people in a better place with a better legal system than that of our past. Some would disagree but none could argue the point with fact.

Lack of fact has never been a barrier for the low-literate but language-rich story-telling population of the “State of Paradox”.   Here, the direct descendants of the first Mr. Right (fn:Always) and his Mrs. (nee Promise you-won’t-tell-another-living-soul But) have informed and entertained  for generations. In doing so, these story-tellers have defined and devined how the outside world views Mississippi and distorted the outside world to those here.

Just-us-justice established the practice of  selective disgrace during a period in the history of the “State of Paradox” when it was not disgraceful for one man to own another – just doing business. As the then wealth of the State evolved into generational poverty, people began to trade on favor – a transaction that makes one man’s word another man’s bondage with the ever present threat of public disgrace from a legal flogging. Continue reading “Mississippi’s just us justice – final”

Tying up a few loose ends – Florida puts State Farm on the ropes

There is literally so much financial news out regarding the insurance industry picking topics is like shooting fish in a barrel. For instance we’ve largely ignored Nationwide’s re-mutualization that earned CEO Jurgensen a fat multi-deca million dollar bonus. Unlike the Hartford, Nationwide remains financially solid. One story we have been keeping up with is the ongoing State Farm saga in Florida where there has been lots of news which in turn gives me the opportunity to tie some concepts together. To set this up we first we need to backtrack to a post we could not have done without our very good friend Sup, who is very kind in sharing a lifetime of industry experience with us here at Slabbed:

So why would SF take this other position? I suggest it is to put more pressure on the governor, Mr. McCarty and politicians. If the SF agents have no other options, they will do everything they can to retain these clients by placing them in Citizens, which further jeopardizes that carrier’s solvency. Is this “hard ball”? You bet it is, but it brings the terrible situation in FL to another level.

Sup nailed it of course, this is exactly what the Farm was doing. Imploding Florida Citizens Insurance also makes the entire market toxic for the other P&C carriers which is the other level Sup referred. While the ladies and gents at FLOIR certainly don’t need us to tell them what is happening behind the scenes as Commission McCarty runs a very tight ship, someone at FLOIR reads us on a regular basis and IMHO planned in advance for insurance hardball State Farm style.  Daniels Hays at the National Underwriter picks it up from there:

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty in a harshly worded order has told State Farm it can go forward with its plan to exit the state’s home insurance market, but only under stringent conditions he has set to protect policyholders.

The company, which has 1.2 million home and condominium policyholders in the state, will not be allowed to dump its customers on Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state-run insurer of last resort, the order states, adding that State Farm should allow its agents to place policies with other private insurers.

The order called the State Farm argument that it needs to withdraw because it faces the danger of insolvency and inability to play claims “both disingenuous and misleading.”

State Farm, the order said, “created its current ‘crisis’ by failing to pursue the opportunities that were available to reduce its expenses and mitigate its decrease in premium volume.”

According to the company, during the first three quarters of 2008 it saw its surplus reduced by $201 million. The company moved to withdraw after it was denied an average rate increase of 47.1 percent…………. Continue reading “Tying up a few loose ends – Florida puts State Farm on the ropes”