Greenberg may be 91 and possibly will be wearing DependsTM to his trial but his date with the justice system is no longer being delayed.
Greenberg may be 91 and possibly will be wearing DependsTM to his trial but his date with the justice system is no longer being delayed.
Thursday, January 29th, 2015
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
LOUISIANA JOINS IN GIVING BAILOUTS TO WALL STREET!
Well, here we go again. Big banks and major insurance companies are “high-fiving” each other after they won big in Washington last month. We thought lawmakers had learned an expensive lesson after the financial crash in 2008 that led to massive bailouts at taxpayer’s expense. Back then, the financial industry was allowed to carry on high stakes gambling with your money. And now, it’s déjà vu as congress has reopened the casino doors.
Following the 2008 financial meltdown, congress used a little common sense and passed legislation known as Dodd-Frank, that limited banks and insurance companies from engaging in risking investments backed up by the taxpayer. “Go ahead and gamble on high-risk investments if you want, but don’t expect a bailout,” so the logical reasoning went.
High-risk derivatives were one of the major financial culprits that led to the financial reforms. Insurance companies like A.I.G. were insuring risky Wall Street investments, knowing full well that if things went bad, old Uncle Sam would be there to pay for the damage done. And since insurance companies like A.I.G. are regulated at the state level, regulators in Washington paid little attention.
Here’s what happened that caused the financial crisis. Insurance regulators had for years allowed A.I.G and other insurance companies to privatize the gains but socialize the losses. The fat cats at A.I.G. got multi-million dollar bonuses year after year, but when the losses had to be paid, it was the taxpayer, you and me, that were called on to cover all the wild-eyed spending spree that regulators allowed to take place. Continue Reading…………..
A bit over a week ago a print journalist familiar with Slabbed’s coverage of the post Katrina insurance wars sent me this link to a National Underwriter top 10 insurance living legends piece that featured Dickie Scruggs (one notch above true living legend Karen Clark) at the 7 spot. We used to feature the NU a good bit on Slabbed but that ended after they ignored the insurance industry getting its ass kicked in Corban v USAA where Nationwide Insurance’s lawyers made particular asses of themselves asserting wind coverage was properly denied if, after the wind 99% destroys the covered property, storm surge destroys the other 1%. The industry contends in such a scenario taxpayer provided coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program was the proper source of coverage and that is exactly the way they adjusted their claims here after Katrina tendering flood insurance policies pretty much sight unseen and denying any wind coverage that would come from their coffers.
For those of you folks still wondering why the country is broke after figuring out it is not the union pipe fitter that goes to work everyday for 6AM at the shipyard, or school teacher unions or Mexican ditch diggers, I’d submit if you multiply the above scenario 1000 times and you’d find the answer as most of the politicians that matter on any level are owned by some special interest. To illustrate the point allow me to update several insurance business world stories Slabbed covered in years gone by and start with that NU story I linked above.
A few weeks ago word filtered out the Rigsby sisters false claims act complaint against State Farm would be moving to trial on the exemplar claim known around the blogs as McIntosh v State Farm. State Farm is PR savvy and when that case heats up, invariably David Rossmiller, a partner at the Portland Oregon insurance defense firm of Dunn Carney pops up like a fly on shit regaling us with his knowledge of the minutiae of insurance contract law. Since Rossie, as he is known on Slabbed, surfaced blogging on Hurricane wind water cases of the type he has never tried in Oregon, it naturally aroused suspicions locally that he was an adjunct of State Farm PR, a view now widely shared in the local print media in South Mississippi. Back in the day Rossie was a darling in local insurance defense circles and on the Hard Line GOP political resource YallPolitics in the blogosphere, which still features the insurance litigation here on the coast in a section termed Scruggs scandal and it is indeed a popular insurance industry meme that the wind damage down here was all a figment of Dick Scruggs imagination thus the lumping. Scapegoating trial lawyers in still popular in GOP circles folks but that stands to reason since the GOP is the party of big business special interests but I’m getting ahead of myself.
So how does a lawyer that has never tried a wind water Hurricane case emerge as a media expert in trade journals and business publications like the Wall Street Journal? Continue reading “Insurance Omnibus: Rigsby, Rossie and RE plus Pols on the take and Mississippians sold out by Team Phildo”
“Meet Chris Dodd, Hollywood’s new man in Washington.”
Yes, the new chairman and chief executive officer of the Motion Picture Association of America is the same Chris Dodd who, as the US Senator from Connecticut, had his name has been mentioned so frequently on SLABBED the listing of related posts cover four pages of search results! Although those pasts date to the early days of SLABBED in 2007, it was two years ago yesterday that Sop made it official with $enator Chri$ Dodd You Sanctimonious SumBitch, Welcome to Slabbed.
According to McClatchy news, “The big question” about the new go-to-the-movies man in Washington “is not why they hired Sen. Dodd. It’s why does he want it?”
The choice stirred some controversy. He’s barred by law from lobbying Congress for the next 22 months, and Dodd told the Connecticut Mirror in August four months before leaving the Senate that he would do “no lobbying, no lobbying.”
Yet the MPAA job is considered one of Washington’s plum lobbying positions.
Dodd said he won’t actually be lobbying, and…[the chairman and chief executive officer]… of Fox Filmed Entertainment…[Jim”]…Gianopulos noted that the individual film companies are well represented in Washington on their own.
“We were looking for leadership, direction and consensus-building,” he said.
And it has nothing to do with Jefferson Parish Political Corruption.
For literally years our good friend Mr CLS has been methodically hammering away at the complexities surrounding insurance securitization and the implications of such for each and every one of us, especially those of us on the coast being price gouged for wind coverage. So suppose you’re a reporter with insurance beat responsibilities like Becky Mowbray, Anita Lee, Jeff Amy, Paige St John, Beatrice Garcia or a national outfit like Bloomberg that has done some quality coverage on insurance issues that is ready to kick it up a notch in terms of understanding. What is now coming to light with Bank of America’s alleged forced placed insurance fraud is a must read as more turds float to the surface in the global insurance finance cesspool.
Some of the very same problems could very well exist in other facets of the securitized insurance market; problems the folks at U Penn Wharton School no doubt did not conceive of when they were pioneering insurance linked securities such at Catastrophe Bonds not long ago as the reasons for the lack of market transparency in the global insurance markets come into sharper focus.
Don’t look for the political shoe shine boys for big insurance such as the coast’s own Steven Palazzo or Commish Mike Chaney to say much on this. Both men, despite paying lots of lip service to the topic of insurance, remain firmly, purposely ignorant of the any fraud perpetrated by their big business buddies on Wall Street.
And when you read the Rolling Stones article on Wall Street being completely above the law you’ll understand why you see names like Brooksley Born, Judge Jed Rakoff, AIG and crooked CEO John Mack in our archives. And sadly, I’ve concluded Longshanks is probably right, we are becoming economic slaves to financial interests and that the sheeple are too self-absorbed and ignorant to understand that basic fact. It also explains why I have little respect for sham regulators like Jim Donelon and Mike Chaney or the rest of the corporate do bitches that populate the Republican party. The Democrats aren’t any better though their rhetoric doesn’t come across as quite so clueless.
Perhaps this is why discriminating bloggers call folks like House Speaker John Boehner a dumb fuck for talking about repealing the weak financial re-regulation bill that passed last year. Meantime the Hollow One, $tung by critici$m about being too hard in Wall Street, is now genuflecting before CEOs like John Mack $pit $hining their $kin flute$. Ain’t 2 party politics swell!
If you’re insured with Allstate or are thinking about insuring with them this post is for you as I’ve had Allstate and its incompetent CEO Tom Wilson on my mind for the past week or so. Now that I have a few good links, allow me to share some of the indicators I look at on individual stocks when performing DD (due diligence). Speaking of DD, it is an ongoing process that never ends which is one of the reasons I think most folks are far better off in no load mutual funds (offered by low-cost producers like Vanguard).
We last visited with Allstate last Thursday after they whiffed on their Q4 earnings. Mr Wilson has a curious business strategy for an insurance company in withdrawing Allstate from taking HO (homeowners insurance ) risks in coastal America, where roughly half the nation’s population lives. That is not unusual as many of the insurance companies are doing like wise but unlike State Farm, which bought into the Bermudian reinsurance market to capitalize on the shortage of coverage they helped create, Allstate has pursued a different strategy of using non admitted carriers to insure the void, at so-called market rates as non admitted carriers do not have rate regulation.
The rationale for using non admitted carriers is simple. Consumers typically bundle their HO coverage with their auto policy and insurance companies make a mint selling auto insurance. Withdrawing from the coast has its draw backs and the loss of the auto policies with the homeowners is a real downside to the industry’s current price-fixing scheme for wind insurance. Continue reading “The Wilson effect: Sure signs the market is becoming concerned about Allstate’s long term solvency”
Thursday, January 6th, 2011
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
A HAPPY NEW YEAR FOR INSURANCE RATES ALONG THE GULF COAST? NOT REALLY!
So happy New Year! And by the way, get ready for higher property insurance rates along the Gulf Coast, particularly in Louisiana. One would think that if anything, homeowner’s rates would be going down. After all, there has been virtually no hurricane activity in the Gulf for the past four years. And with the national economic slump, home prices have dropped which should translate into lower insurance rates. Not so say the experts. Here are a few reasons why many states, particularly my home state of Louisiana, will see higher rates in the coming year.
Huge claims for the BP Gulf Oil spill will definitely boost insurance rates for the oil industry. No one at this stage can even guess what the final insurance costs will be from both the damage and years of ligation from the Gulf spill. Most of the larger oil companies are self insured, which means they will have to divert funds from operating costs into designated reserve funds. Independent companies, that produce both oil and gas, will see their insurance costs go up. Higher insurance costs mean cut backs, possible layoffs, and higher prices for both oil and gas. And those insurance companies that have taken a big hit over the Gulf spill will have no choice but to raise rates for all lines of insurance, including homeowners.
Citizens Property Insurance Company in Louisiana continues to run amok, and be a factor in higher insurance rates. Louisiana taxpayers are on the hook for well over a billion dollars because of the state created company’s mismanagement. The company is now bragging that it has reduced the number of policies it is selling. But this becomes a catch 22. As Citizens looses customers, the overall risk increases. A new study by the Insurance Information Institute pointed out the Louisiana state run plan still maintains a “precarious financial condition.” Simple translation — it’s broke, and will be for years. Last month the company asked the Louisiana Insurance Department for an increase that in some south Louisiana parishes will top 24%. Continue reading “Jim Brown”
Here is a quick blast from the past for our newer readers circa early 2009 where we explored the employement history of Senator Chris Dodd’s wife, Jackie Clegg Dodd, as companies her husband oversaw chairing the Senate Banking Committee had a curious preference for hiring Ms Dodd, especially the now taxpayer supported AIG.
Meantime over at Yahoo ALL Mr CLS finished his Thanksgiving reading and added Wendy Gramm, wife of former Texas Senator Phil Gramm, architect of the financial deregulation bill that ultimately imploded our financial system, who had a preference for working at ENRON and State Farm. Continue reading “Working girls: “Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.””
I recently met with a group of political strategists that noticed our little blog in Soggy Bottom and the information exchange was very enlightening for me. I’m as interested in the mechanics of the story as the story itself and the tales I was told of how these folks manipulated the traditional media were very interesting. More than any other skill set these folks had a keen understanding of human behavior which is a shared passion with us at Slabbed.
The garden variety bashing I sometime engage in to drive traffic sometimes obscures the fact Slabbed is in reality a quest for knowledge as in getting all the facts that surrounded the blanket denials of insurance coverage after Katrina no matter where those facts may lead. This may sound elementary, indeed even simplistic, but I’d submit we stand in stark contrast to our own insurance regulators that ignored all the evidence of fraud on part of their corporate benefactors from the insurance industry after Katrina, Mike Chaney even going so far as to attack the Rigsby sisters, who exposed the fraud perpetrated by State Farm on the US Treasury here in Mississippi. This frankly came as no surprise to me, especially after it came out that the lawyer who ran the market conduct study for Mr Chaney left the Mississippi Department of Insurance for State Farm’s Jackson based law firm.
Insurance companies have lots of money to throw around and spend vast sums of money on shills, propagandists and their own in-house PR departments. These folks are mostly rent an opinion hookers that dispense half-truths in furtherance of their own paychecks. Armed with lots of factoids and ready made quotes, deadline pressed journalists flock to them in droves, often uncritically lapping up the intellectually dishonest drivel folks like the III’s Robert Hartwig, who this past summer passed off a bogus poll about the NFIP to the media. To her credit, Becky Mowbray over at the T-P busted Hartwig and frankly I was amused at Mike Chaney’s blatant duplicity in the Sun Herald’s reporting on the same topic. I guess Chaney tells so many whoppers he can’t keep them all straight but that is another post.
I mention all this because Ashby Jones and Joanne Lublin recently wrote a story for the Wall Street Journal on the topic of corporate whistleblowers and the new financial re-regulation legislation which is so full of self-serving corporate PR spin these two journalists should be ashamed, Continue reading “And the Wall Street Journal put two reporters on the story and still managed to butcher it. An Allstate Hurricane Katrina Fraud Update.”