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Death for Profit - From the same geniuses who brought you the the mortgage clusterfuck
#1
Soylent Green anyone? Gee, what will they think of next? I know how they can manipulate this market too.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now we know why America's oligarchs are fighting to keep the rest of us stuck in the world's worst health care system: the more we die, the more billions Wall Street will earn. A recent article in The New York Times exposed how Wall Street is licking its lips over a new scheme to make hundreds of billions in profits by creating financial instruments that will profit off of millions of terminally-ill Americans' agony, desperation, and death. The only thing standing in the way of this massive new Wall Street scheme is the kind of health care reform that might allow Americans to live longer lives. Yep, this is what we spent trillions of dollars bailing out Wall Street for: so that they can kill us for profit.

It sounds like something out of an old sci-fi flick like War of the Worlds, with America's billionaires as the brutal aliens harvesting our humanoid blood and tissue to fertilize their country club golf courses. Yet it makes logical sense: Wall Street has nowhere else to turn for its fat profits. Our banking class has already destroyed everything else in this country that had any value, from America's industrial base to the American Dream itself, its housing market--whatever Wall Street could securitize, leverage, flip or restructure, they destroyed for good. There's nothing left to strip and pawn -- except for our lives.

Yes, it's sick as hell, so vile and evil that it almost defies understanding. But I'll try: see, if I was a gambling man, I'd wager that the thing that gave our banker billionaires the idea to turn our deaths into "death bonds" was the way they so effortlessly looted trillions of taxpayer bailout dollars from us, so quickly, and with so little resistance. That puts bad ideas into bad people's heads. You and I, if we were the ones who got those trillions in our time of need (rather than having it stolen from us in our time of need), we might have a real sentimental epiphany, like, "Gee, the American taxpayers saved me from ruin! I promise from now on to change my ways and do whatever I can to repay these kind Americans!"

But in our real world, instead of having Scrooge epiphanies, our Wall Street bankers have Goodfelllas epiphanies. As in, "That was the easiest $23 trillion bucks anyone ever stole, fellas! Come on, let's go back and steal some more! There's gotta be a lot more where that came from!"

They're not only not scared of the consequences, they'd be crazy to worry given the recent evidence. By our passivity, we've emboldened our vampire-oligarchs to steal more from us, and drain our blood for good measure. So now they've come up with the most shameless profit scheme ever imagined: issuing "death bonds" and securities based on these "death bonds" which aim to profit from people suffering from agonizing terminal illnesses.

Here is how the Times explains it:


After the mortgage business imploded last year, Wall Street investment banks began searching for another big idea to make money. They think they may have found one.

The bankers plan to buy "life settlements," life insurance policies that ill and elderly people sell for cash -- $400,000 for a $1 million policy, say, depending on the life expectancy of the insured person. Then they plan to "securitize" these policies, in Wall Street jargon, by packaging hundreds or thousands together into bonds. They will then resell those bonds to investors, like big pension funds, who will receive the payouts when people with the insurance die.

The earlier the policyholder dies, the bigger the return -- though if people live longer than expected, investors could get poor returns or even lose money. [Author's emphasis]

So let's get this straight: Wall Street needs its hundreds of billions in paper profits. That's a given. But since they've already destroyed everything else while plundering that wealth, now Wall Street is going to suck those profits directly out of our veins:

[E]ven if a small fraction of policy holders do sell them, some in the industry predict the market could reach $500 billion. That would help Wall Street offset the loss of revenue from the collapse of the United States residential mortgage securities market, to $169 billion so far this year from a peak of $941 billion in 2005, according to Dealogic, a firm that tracks financial data.

The most common defense of securitization you hear from finance apologists is that securitization lowers the price of borrowing--without securitization, home mortgages would have been much more expensive, they say (ignoring of course how securitizing subprime loans destroyed the entire real estate market for millions upon millions of Americans). But in the case of securitizing life insurance payouts, the effect right away will be higher premiums on new life insurance policies, according to a Wharton professor--meaning securitization won't even pretend to lower premiums, but rather will put life insurance out of more Americans' reach before destroying the entire industry.

So, guess who's planning to profit from our terminal illnesses? Yup, our ol' friends at Goldman Sachs. The Bailout Barons at Goldman are so excited by all that juicy death that they've already invented a kind of death index "enabling investors to bet on whether people will live longer than expected or die sooner than planned." That is not a made-up quote, folks: that's straight out of The New York Times business section.

Here's how the whole thing will work: life insurance is a $26 trillion industry. And of those $26 trillion in life insurance policies, there is always a certain percentage of policy holders who are facing imminent death. Not the kinds of deaths we all hope for -- quick, painless, unforeseen--but the more common kind: the slow, painful, devastating deaths by any number of ailments -- late-stage diabetes, lung cancer, devastating stroke, liver failure -- deaths that bankrupt you and your family as you wage a losing struggle with your health insurance company from your death bed to get your pain medication restored or your hospice care nurse partially covered. You desperately search for a new source of money wherever it can be found -- and wouldchaknowit, there's a budding industry of life insurance vultures who make their living by snatching up a terminally-ill policy holder's insurance for a discount. The life insurance vultures offer the desperate, dying holder that needed cash up-front, waits for the person to die, then cashes in on the full value of the policy. The quicker the death, the more the vulture earns. This transaction is what's called a "life settlement." (Wouldn't Dracula love it if he could just call it a "life settlement" when he sucks a victim's blood? "Look, I'm just securitizing your blood, hold still will ya? This is a free country, you know! Don't tread on my fangs, socialist!")

Now if you're going to have every Wall Street bank hungry for "life settlements" to package and securitize, you're going to need a lot of brokers to trawl the nursing homes, hospice centers and hospitals for "products" -- dying Americans. Much more than we have now (just as the number of mortgage brokers exploded when Wall Street needed mortgages for their securitized products). These brokers try to get to the dying American before his life insurance company does, or someone else -- and offers them a better cash settlement for the policy than the insurance company might offer. Everyone sees that dying policy-holder as a source of profit -- but only if that person dies as soon as possible after you snatch up the policy. As you can imagine, the kind of person who makes a living trawling around hospice centers for life insurance policy holders isn't the kind of guy you'd want to babysit your kid for the night -- Philip Garrido might be okay with them, but you and I wouldn't. Even before the Wall Street rush for "life settlements" to package, these brokers have already been accused of the lowest, vilest crimes:

[T]he industry has been plagued by fraud complaints. State insurance regulators, hamstrung by a patchwork of laws and regulations, have criticized life settlement brokers for coercing the ill and elderly to take out policies with the sole purpose of selling them back to the brokers, called "stranger-owned life insurance."

In 2006, while he was New York attorney general, Eliot Spitzer sued Coventry, one of the largest life settlement companies, accusing it of engaging in bid-rigging with rivals to keep down prices offered to people who wanted to sell their policies. The case is continuing.

"Predators in the life settlement market have the motive, means and, if left unchecked by legislators and regulators and by their own community, the opportunity to take advantage of seniors," Stephan Leimberg, co-author of a book on life settlements, testified at a Senate Special Committee on Aging last April.

Okay, so one part of the equation is getting the product -- dying Americans' death policies. But the other part is calculating as accurately as possible the risk of the products. Now remember, the quicker the policy-holder dies, the bigger the profit. And this is where the vampire fangs come out. Because the biggest threat to investor profits is having these policy holders living longer than expected. As the article noted, such a thing has happened before:

[T]here is another potential risk for investors: that some people could live far longer than expected.

It is not just a hypothetical risk. That is what happened in the 1980s, when new treatments prolonged the life of AIDS patients. Investors who bought their policies on the expectation that the most victims would die within two years ended up losing money.

One way to deal with the "risk" of Americans not dying is by packing a bunch of dying people's policies together, because you can get lucky with one disease, but you can't help everyone live longer.

The solution? A bond made up of life settlements would ideally have policies from people with a range of diseases -- leukemia, lung cancer, heart disease, breast cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's. That is because if too many people with leukemia are in the securitization portfolio, and a cure is developed, the value of the bond would plummet.

Ah but wait, there is one potential deal-killer out there: if America's health care system gets fixed, Americans might live longer, and Wall Street's "death bonds" could mean the death of Wall Street rather than Main Street:

How can a computer accurately predict what would happen if health reform passed, for example, and better care for a large number of Americans meant that people generally started living longer?

If the computer models were wrong, investors could lose a lot of money.

As unlikely as those assumptions may seem, that is effectively what happened with many securitized subprime loans.

Ah yes, we must make sure that that doesn't happen again!

So how will the billionaires make sure that they can harvest our blood and tissue like the War of the Worlds aliens, and turn it all into country club golf course fertilizer? First, by killing health care reform, which is all but accomplished. And then with their next fight, which they're already gearing up for: killing the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which would protect Americans from exactly this sort of horrific predatory scheme.

Already, millions of finance industry dollars have been marshaled by finance industry-backed trade groups (millions that they stole from us taxpayers thanks to the bailout), including the Financial Services Roundtable, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the US Chamber of Commerce and the inconspicuous-sounding American Land Title Association.

This last one, the ALTA, is more important than it sounds in this fight, particularly since it's headed up by Kurt Pfotenhauer -- husband of the even more notorious Nancy Pfotenhauer. Together they're like the Wonder Goons henchmen couple working on behalf of America's billionaire vampires. Before heading up ALTA, Kurt Pfotenhauer was the lead lobbyist for the Mortgage Bankers Association -- which lobbied successfully to kill mortgage relief for distressed homeowners in order to protect securitization -- the same securitization that will be used to profit from Americans' deaths.

Nancy used to head up Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity until 2007 -- yup, that's the same group leading the town hall "grassroots" mob against health care reform, and which co-sponsored the early Tea Party protests. Nancy left AFP in 2007 to work for McCain's campaign -- she's the one who famously divided Virginia into "real America" and the rest of us.

Ever since McCain's campaign imploded, Nancy has been out there hitting the TV circuit attacking health care reform and financial regulatory reform, though I've yet to find out who's paying her to do it. No need to ask who's paying her husband Kurt, however. This past July, he headed an industry delegation to the White House to demand that Obama back off creating the CFPA agency. When he didn't get his way, he slithered back into the dark.

This week, a new advertising/AstroTurf campaign to kill the CFPA was launched, including a website Stopthecfpa.com, sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce--the site prominently links up to ALTA. It's no surprise that the Chamber of Commerce is behind the move to keep American carotid veins as vulnerable as possible to billionaire fangs.

The head of the Chamber, Thomas Donohue, is the perfect man to play the role of Dracula's Assistant: his resume includes serving on the board of directors at Qwest during the period when Qwest was accused of one of the worst fraud scandals in corporate history, resulting in billions in overstated revenues, and criminal and civil charges against the CEO (who was sentenced to 10 years in prison) and eight others; the board of directors of Union Pacific Corp, when as head of the compensation committee Donohue approved some of the highest CEO compensation packages in history, including tens of millions to former CEO Richard Davidson, along with his $2.7 million annual pension when he retired in 2006; the board of directors of XM Radio, which is currently almost bankrupt and facing delisting; and the board of directors of a nursing home monolith, Sunrise Senior Living, which is being investigated by the SEC for fraud, and which today faces possible bankruptcy. (Not surprisingly, one of Donohue's longest-running goal is to protect billionaires from lawsuits.)

This is the man heading a $2 million campaign to kill the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, so that our deaths can be more easily exploited.

It's as if the billionaires are just playing with us at this point. As if they're saying, "Hey, dumbfuck Americans! You can have your blood back when you suck it out of my cold dead veins! Oh wait, my veins are already cold 'n dead. And rich!Ha-ha! Ah, I kill myself sometimes. Now, give me your fuckin' neck, before I rip out your veins with my bare fangs!"
http://www.alternet.org/story/142531/wal...age=entire
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#2
Wall Street Pursues Profit in Bundles of Life Insurance


By JENNY ANDERSON
Published: September 5, 2009
After the mortgage business imploded last year, Wall Street investment banks began searching for another big idea to make money. They think they may have found one.
[URL="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/06/business/06insurance.html?_r=1#secondParagraph"]
[/URL] Michael Appleton for The New York Times
Rating the New Products: Jan Buckler and Kathleen Tillwitz of DBRS, which is reviewing proposals for life- insurance securitizations.


Back to Business

Betting on Your LifeThis series examines the battles taking place to reshape the financial industry.
[URL="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/features/timestopics/series/back_to_business/index.html"]
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[Image: insurance_graphic_190.jpg]Graphic [URL="http://javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:pop_me_up2%28%27http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2009/09/06/business/06insurance_graphic_ready.html%27,%20%27832_659%27,%20%27width=832,height=659,location=no,scrollbars=yes,toolbars=no,resizable=yes%27%29"]
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The bankers plan to buy “life settlements,” life insurance policies that ill and elderly people sell for cash — $400,000 for a $1 million policy, say, depending on the life expectancy of the insured person. Then they plan to “securitize” these policies, in Wall Street jargon, by packaging hundreds or thousands together into bonds. They will then resell those bonds to investors, like big pension funds, who will receive the payouts when people with the insurance die.
The earlier the policyholder dies, the bigger the return — though if people live longer than expected, investors could get poor returns or even lose money.
Either way, Wall Street would profit by pocketing sizable fees for creating the bonds, reselling them and subsequently trading them. But some who have studied life settlements warn that insurers might have to raise premiums in the short term if they end up having to pay out more death claims than they had anticipated.
The idea is still in the planning stages. But already “our phones have been ringing off the hook with inquiries,” says Kathleen Tillwitz, a senior vice president at DBRS, which gives risk ratings to investments and is reviewing nine proposals for life-insurance securitizations from private investors and financial firms, including Credit Suisse.
“We’re hoping to get a herd stampeding after the first offering,” said one investment banker not authorized to speak to the news media.
In the aftermath of the financial meltdown, exotic investments dreamed up by Wall Street got much of the blame. It was not just subprime mortgage securities but an array of products — credit-default swaps, structured investment vehicles, collateralized debt obligations — that proved far riskier than anticipated.
The debacle gave financial wizardry a bad name generally, but not on Wall Street. Even as Washington debates increased financial regulation, bankers are scurrying to concoct new products.
In addition to securitizing life settlements, for example, some banks are repackaging their money-losing securities into higher-rated ones, called re-remics (re-securitization of real estate mortgage investment conduits). Morgan Stanley says at least $30 billion in residential re-remics have been done this year.
Financial innovation can be good, of course, by lowering the cost of borrowing for everyone, giving consumers more investment choices and, more broadly, by helping the economy to grow. And the proponents of securitizing life settlements say it would benefit people who want to cash out their policies while they are alive.
But some are dismayed by Wall Street’s quick return to its old ways, chasing profits with complicated new products.
“It’s bittersweet,” said James D. Cox, a professor of corporate and securities law at Duke University. “The sweet part is there are investors interested in exotic products created by underwriters who make large fees and rating agencies who then get paid to confer ratings. The bitter part is it’s a return to the good old days.”
Indeed, what is good for Wall Street could be bad for the insurance industry, and perhaps for customers, too. That is because policyholders often let their life insurance lapse before they die, for a variety of reasons — their children grow up and no longer need the financial protection, or the premiums become too expensive. When that happens, the insurer does not have to make a payout.
But if a policy is purchased and packaged into a security, investors will keep paying the premiums that might have been abandoned; as a result, more policies will stay in force, ensuring more payouts over time and less money for the insurance companies.
“When they set their premiums they were basing them on assumptions that were wrong,” said Neil A. Doherty, a professor at Wharton who has studied life settlements.
Indeed, Mr. Doherty says that in reaction to widespread securitization, insurers most likely would have to raise the premiums on new life policies.
Critics of life settlements believe “this defeats the idea of what life insurance is supposed to be,” said Steven Weisbart, senior vice president and chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group. “It’s not an investment product, a gambling product.”
After Mortgages
Undeterred, Wall Street is racing ahead for a simple reason: With $26 trillion of life insurance policies in force in the United States, the market could be huge.
Not all policyholders would be interested in selling their policies, of course. And investors are not interested in healthy people’s policies because they would have to pay those premiums for too long, reducing profits on the investment.
But even if a small fraction of policy holders do sell them, some in the industry predict the market could reach $500 billion. That would help Wall Street offset the loss of revenue from the collapse of the United States residential mortgage securities market, to $169 billion so far this year from a peak of $941 billion in 2005, according to Dealogic, a firm that tracks financial data.
Some financial firms are moving to outpace their rivals. Credit Suisse, for example, is in effect building a financial assembly line to buy large numbers of life insurance policies, package and resell them — just as Wall Street firms did with subprime securities.
[URL="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/06/business/06insurance.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1#secondParagraph"]
[/URL] [URL="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/features/timestopics/series/back_to_business/index.html"]
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The bank bought a company that originates life settlements, and it has set up a group dedicated to structuring deals and one to sell the products.
Goldman Sachs has developed a tradable index of life settlements, enabling investors to bet on whether people will live longer than expected or die sooner than planned. The index is similar to tradable stock market indices that allow investors to bet on the overall direction of the market without buying stocks.
Spokesmen for Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs declined to comment.
If Wall Street succeeds in securitizing life insurance policies, it would take a controversial business — the buying and selling of policies — that has been around on a smaller scale for a couple of decades and potentially increase it drastically.
Defenders of life settlements argue that creating a market to allow the ill or elderly to sell their policies for cash is a public service. Insurance companies, they note, offer only a “cash surrender value,” typically at a small fraction of the death benefit, when a policyholder wants to cash out, even after paying large premiums for many years.
Enter life settlement companies. Depending on various factors, they will pay 20 to 200 percent more than the surrender value an insurer would pay.
But the industry has been plagued by fraud complaints. State insurance regulators, hamstrung by a patchwork of laws and regulations, have criticized life settlement brokers for coercing the ill and elderly to take out policies with the sole purpose of selling them back to the brokers, called “stranger-owned life insurance.”
In 2006, while he was New York attorney general, Eliot Spitzer sued Coventry, one of the largest life settlement companies, accusing it of engaging in bid-rigging with rivals to keep down prices offered to people who wanted to sell their policies. The case is continuing.
“Predators in the life settlement market have the motive, means and, if left unchecked by legislators and regulators and by their own community, the opportunity to take advantage of seniors,” Stephan Leimberg, co-author of a book on life settlements, testified at a Senate Special Committee on Aging last April.
Tricky Predictions
In addition to fraud, there is another potential risk for investors: that some people could live far longer than expected.
It is not just a hypothetical risk. That is what happened in the 1980s, when new treatments prolonged the life of AIDS patients. Investors who bought their policies on the expectation that the most victims would die within two years ended up losing money.
It happened again last fall when companies that calculate life expectancy determined that people were living longer.
The challenge for Wall Street is to make securitized life insurance policies more predictable — and, ideally, safer — investments. And for any securitized bond to interest big investors, a seal of approval is needed from a credit rating agency that measures the level of risk.
In many ways, banks are seeking to replicate the model of subprime mortgage securities, which became popular after ratings agencies bestowed on them the comfort of a top-tier, triple-A rating. An individual mortgage to a home buyer with poor credit might have been considered risky, because of the possibility of default; but packaging lots of mortgages together limited risk, the theory went, because it was unlikely many would default at the same time.
While that idea was, in retrospect, badly flawed, Wall Street is convinced that it can solve the risk riddle with securitized life settlement policies.
That is why bankers from Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs have been visiting DBRS, a little known rating agency in lower Manhattan.
In early 2008, the firm published criteria for ways to securitize a life settlements portfolio so that the risks were minimized.
Interest poured in. Hedge funds that have acquired life settlements, for example, are keen to buy and sell policies more easily, so they can cash out both on investments that are losing money and on ones that are profitable. Wall Street banks, beaten down by the financial crisis, are looking to get their securitization machines humming again.
Ms. Tillwitz, an executive overseeing the project for DBRS, said the firm spent nine months getting comfortable with the myriad risks associated with rating a pool of life settlements.

Could a way be found to protect against possible fraud by agents buying insurance policies and reselling them — to avoid problems like those in the subprime mortgage market, where some brokers made fraudulent loans that ended up in packages of securities sold to investors? How could investors be assured that the policies were legitimately acquired, so that the payouts would not be disputed when the original policyholder died?
[URL="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/06/business/06insurance.html?pagewanted=3&_r=1#secondParagraph"]
[/URL]


And how could they make sure that policies being bought were legally sellable, given that some states prohibit the sale of policies until they have been in force two to five years?
Spreading the Risk
To help understand how to manage these risks, Ms. Tillwitz and her colleague Jan Buckler — a mathematics whiz with a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering — traveled the world visiting firms that handle life settlements. “We do not want to rate a deal that blows up,” Ms. Tillwitz said.
The solution? A bond made up of life settlements would ideally have policies from people with a range of diseases — leukemia, lung cancer, heart disease, breast cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s. That is because if too many people with leukemia are in the securitization portfolio, and a cure is developed, the value of the bond would plummet.
As an added precaution, DBRS would run background checks on all issuers. Also, a range of quality of life insurers would have to be included.
To test how different mixes of policies would perform, Mr. Buckler has run computer simulations to show what would happen to returns if people lived significantly longer than expected.
But even with a math whiz calculating every possibility, some risks may not be apparent until after the fact. How can a computer accurately predict what would happen if health reform passed, for example, and better care for a large number of Americans meant that people generally started living longer? Or if a magic-bullet cure for all types of cancer was developed?
If the computer models were wrong, investors could lose a lot of money.
As unlikely as those assumptions may seem, that is effectively what happened with many securitized subprime loans that were given triple-A ratings.
Investment banks that sold these securities sought to lower the risks by, among other things, packaging mortgages from different regions and with differing credit levels of the borrowers. They thought that if house prices dropped in one region — say Florida, causing widespread defaults in that part of the portfolio — it was highly unlikely that they would fall at the same time in, say, California.
Indeed, economists noted that historically, housing prices had fallen regionally but never nationwide. When they did fall nationwide, investors lost hundreds of billions of dollars.
Both Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, which gave out many triple-A ratings and were burned by that experience, are approaching life settlements with greater caution.
Standard & Poor’s, which rated a similar deal called Dignity Partners in the 1990s, declined to comment on its plans. Moody’s said it has been approached by financial firms interested in securitizing life settlements, but has not yet seen a portfolio of policies that meets its standards.
Investor Appetite
Despite the mortgage debacle, investors like Andrew Terrell are intrigued.
Mr. Terrell was the co-head of Bear Stearns’s longevity and mortality desk — which traded unrated portfolios of life settlements — and later worked at Goldman Sachs’s Institutional Life Companies, a venture that was introducing a trading platform for life settlements. He thinks securitized life policies have big potential, explaining that investors who want to spread their risks are constantly looking for new investments that do not move in tandem with their other investments.
“It’s an interesting asset class because it’s less correlated to the rest of the market than other asset classes,” Mr. Terrell said.
Some academics who have studied life settlement securitization agree it is a good idea. One difference, they concur, is that death is not correlated to the rise and fall of stocks.
“These assets do not have risks that are difficult to estimate and they are not, for the most part, exposed to broader economic risks,” said Joshua Coval, a professor of finance at the Harvard Business School. “By pooling and tranching, you are not amplifying systemic risks in the underlying assets.”
The insurance industry is girding for a fight. “Just as all mortgage providers have been tarred by subprime mortgages, so too is the concern that all life insurance companies would be tarred with the brush of subprime life insurance settlements,” said Michael Lovendusky, vice president and associate general counsel of the American Council of Life Insurers, a trade group that represents life insurance companies.
And the industry may find allies in government. Among those expressing concern about life settlements at the Senate committee hearing in April were insurance regulators from Florida and Illinois, who argued that regulation was inadequate.
“The securitization of life settlements adds another element of possible risk to an industry that is already in need of enhanced regulations, more transparency and consumer safeguards,” said Senator Herb Kohl, the Democrat from Wisconsin who is chairman of the Special Committee on Aging.
DBRS agrees on the need to be careful. “We want this market to flourish in a safe way,” Ms. Tillwitz said.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/06/busine...rance.html
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#3
They are running out of options.

It's probably impossible for a major economy to print and hyper-inflate their debt away (whilst destroying the life savings of their population) because global currency markets and vulture speculators will swoop immediately on any such attempts.

The global option of abandoning dollars and Euros and creating a new reserve currency such as IMF SDRs may be tried. I suspect it would end in anarchy and massive social dislocation.

So, They can do what They have continuously done for the past few decades, and attempt to create an asset bubble - as with the entirely fraudulent and phoney valuations of the dotcoms and houses.

So, what asset classes are there left?

Such an asset ideally would have global and universal reach. And be of concern to the vast majority of ordinary folk.

Um.. Mmmm...

Uh....

Oh yeah, baby!

It's a Eureka moment!

Howzabout securitizing....

DEATH!!!!!
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
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