April Fool – the joke’s on Allstate

Allstate Corporation announced a quarterly dividend of twenty cents ($0.20) on each outstanding share of the Corporation’s common stock – on Fat “cat” Tuesday, no less!  The dividend is payable in cash on April 1, 2009 to stockholders of record at the close of business on March 13, 2009. h/t ClS

Hopefully, Allstate didn’t tap whatever they might have set aside as a qui tam reserve.  If the 5th Circuits recent Opinion in error does move the government to intervene in Rigsby and Branch, we do not yet have the change we need.

Sop just  posted Insurers Kill the Rally Once Again over at the All finance board.  See if you don’t agree this further begs the government’s attention.

Here we go again with the insurance crash. This time it is fueled by the slash in the Allstate dividend off of life insurance worries. It comes right after Lincoln National almost eliminated its dividend yesterday. We have to understand that the pressure from these companies — and they include Prudential and Hartford (oh, man, is that one down) — is now coming directly from these firms’ investing portfolios. We are now in the throes of a remarkably vicious circle, in that these companies cannot raise enough capital to offset their commercial real estate holdings, which seem to decline by the day. It looks like all of these companies had the same optimistic playbook. Right now the focus is on Citigroup and Bank of America and nationalization. I am far more concerned right now about a life insurer or an annuity company going bust….

Now, for the rest of Allstate’s announced April Fool prank. Continue reading “April Fool – the joke’s on Allstate”

Welcome back Zach!

Patsy Brumfield has the story for the Daily Journal.

Zach Scruggs, convicted for his part in the scheme to bribe Circuit Judge Henry Lackey of Calhoun City, is out of federal prison and assigned to a community re-entry facility in Tupelo. An earlier report, which said he was in Montgomery, Ala., was not accurate. Inmates in the Tupelo center technically are under Montgomery’s jurisdiction, and that’s why on the Bureau of Prison’s web site it shows him there. His custody location is noted on www.bop.gov. Aug. 19 is his projected release date, the site shows.

Cheryl Dennings with BOP in Atlanta said Scruggs was moved Tuesday from a low-security prison in Forrest City, Ark. to Tupelo as he prepares to “transition” back into society. As soon as he finds a job and gets various other details approved, like driving a car, he will work away from the center and return each night.

Although an Internet site speculated Scruggs may have been seen in Oxford on Tuesday, Dennings said that wasn’t likely since she believes he was brought to Tupelo directly from Arkansas.

The just-us justice of north Mississippi challenges the meaning of “likely” on a regular basis.  Today, for example, the Clarion Ledger is reporting the previously unlikely move of Judge Delaughter’s April trial to Oxford.  Late yesterday, the Ledger reported the even more unlikely, but long suspected, grant of immunity to former Hinds County District Attorney Ed Peters.

So, while Peters and his immunity were lunching with the current DA, Sid Backstrom and his integrity remained confined in Arkansas – and some dare call it justice when it’s just-us.

Stone walls do not a prison make nor iron bars a cage.

In that light, true justice emerges as those guilty of  just-us justice serve a life sentence – forever confined by the limits of their small and narrow minds.   Continue reading “Welcome back Zach!”

The rats are jumping ship….

The Hartford’s President/COO thinks now is a good time to skedaddle but cry not for Tom Marra as he leaves still very well stocked with freebie stock. At least the HIG shareholders that lost their rear ends have the pleasure of knowing his option gun is worthless. Next stop, probably through the revolving door to the Connecticut DOI as it’s time for Mr Sullivan to recycle back to the Hartford. So far no word yet from Connecticut DOI on how well counting deferred tax assets as tangible capital is working out for consumers there. The market’s verdict is decidedly a big two thumbs down.

We haven’t blogged on it because we knew…..

The time is still not right for NFIP reauthorization. The bonus is this also means I get 6 more months to be a pain in the ass to our current favorite U$ $enator, true blue friend to $ubprime king Angelo Mozilo and bona fide Pac Man Chri$ Dodd. If I left anything out rest assured there will be future posts on “$pike”.

Arthur Postal at the NU has the story:

The controversial National Flood Insurance Program would be extended in its current form until Sept. 28 under the omnibus spending bill revealed by House Democrats Monday.

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, earlier this month said the extension is designed to provide time for the House and Senate to reconcile their differences over the future of the program, especially the House demand that the program be expanded to include wind coverage.

The program was initially extended in its present form until March 6 after the House and Senate could not reconcile substantive differences between bills designed to reform and extend the program for several years. Continue reading “We haven’t blogged on it because we knew…..”