1. Clippings, September 2014

    The long, hard road back for AIG

    Project Destiny did not last much longer. Benmosche in an early August 2009 board meeting reportedly trashed it, calling a halt to the restructuring. He criticized the plan and the federal government for pressuring AIG to sell off its parts at bargain-bin prices. Paula Reynolds, the chief architect of Project Destiny, quit.

    "I had friends in investment banking, and you know what they told me?" said Andrew Kligerman, an industry consultant who covered AIG as an analyst for UBS. "They said, ‘It was a very sad day when Ed Liddy and Paula Reynolds left the company.’"

    Conn. insurance commissioner says NAIC president showing ‘disregard for good governance’

    Leonardi recounted two episodes that prompted him to publicly call for the NAIC to hire an outside consultant to help it re-evaluate its governance. The first came two years ago, when he said he expressed his concerns to a regulator who now serves as an NAIC officer. The regulator promptly dismissed his worries.

    "The response was, very earnest and very serious, ‘Why would I want to run for office if I couldn’t be the imperial president and exercise unabated power? What would be the point?’" Leonardi said. "I realized with that response that this approach of trying to work behind closed doors wasn’t going to work."

    House logjam to delay TRIA renewal past midterm elections

    A large, bipartisan contingent wants to reauthorize TRIA with few changes to its existing terms. But they have been blocked by Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, who refuses to budge from demands that any renewal include a significant shift of the financial burden from the federal government to the private sector.

    Analyst: Interactive Brokers to name CEO Peterffy’s successor

    The new president would be the “heir apparent” at Interactive Brokers, but likely will not take over for some time. Peterffy, who is 69, has no immediate plans to resign, Repetto said in a Sept. 17 note to clients. Instead, he appears just to be establishing a longer-term succession plan.

    Pacific turmoil drops disaster losses on US West Coast

    The Pacific Ocean, by contrast, is churning out large storms at a record pace. Meteorologists have identified 17 tropical storms or hurricanes in the Eastern Pacific since May. Eight were “major” hurricanes, classified as category 3 or higher. The previous record at this point in the season came in 1992, when seven hurricanes hit the category 3 threshold.

    Calif. med-mal insurers pour millions into fighting negligence reform initiative

    Pack, a 58-year-old from Danville, Calif., is the face of the MICRA reform movement. In 2003, a driver high on prescription pain pills jumped a curb and struck his 10-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter, killing them both. Police later found that the driver had purchased hundreds of pills from doctors at Kaiser Permanente. Yet when Pack tried to sue Kaiser, several attorneys refused to take the case because filing and arguing a lawsuit would likely cost more than the $250,000 he stood to win.

     
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  3. The problem with ‘the problem with’ headlines

    Introducing! The latest in clickable, social media-approved, curiosity-gap exploiting headlines: The problem with [blank].

    As modeled by Vox:

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    Like its cynical, social media consultant-inspired predecessors You’ll never believe… and [Declarative statement]. [Ridiculous claim]The problem with [blank] is perfect for pairing with content you think is too wonky/complicated/long or — on the flip side — just outright dumb and uninspiring enough to attract attention on its own merits. 

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    So get in on this trend, content creators, while there’s still time to take advantage of your readers!

     

  4. "Snow White, who happens to have a real name (Theresa), tells the dwarves about being stifled by the expectations placed on her by the patriarchal structure of the kingdom’s monarchy. She earns her keep by working alongside the dwarves in the mine."
     

  5. One of these things is not like the other

    An unofficial list of certified NFL “distractions”:

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    MEANWHILE…

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  6. (Source: gallup.com)

     
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  8. Clippings, August 2014

    TRIA renewal to hinge on divided House Republicans

    The House Financial Services Committee advanced the bill in June with solely Republican support. Yet soon afterward, that support splintered. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., rallied a large bipartisan group that criticized the bill as too harsh and disruptive to the insurance and construction industries. They have since pushed for a plan closer to the Senate’s competing bill, which would renew TRIA for seven years and make only slight changes to the government’s obligations.

    State insurance commissioners seeking new allies within Burwell’s HHS

    The state commissioners worry that their influence on health reform issues could wane under the new administration, which is led by HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell. Unlike Sebelius, who previously served as Kansas’ insurance commissioner, Burwell has never been a state regulator and has little connection to the NAIC.

    Calif. insurance commissioner wants greater NAIC scrutiny of ride-sharing, car-sharing companies

    The main debate so far is over insurance coverage for the so-called phase one of ridesharing: when a driver has activated his app and is actively looking for passengers, but has not yet agreed to provide a ride. Insurance industry representatives maintain that personal auto insurers do not cover that period, since it qualifies as commercial activity. Personal auto policies typically contain livery exclusions that prohibit coverage if a car is being used to ferry passengers for a fee.

    But some ride-sharing companies argue that their commercial insurance does not cover that period either, and only kicks in when a passenger gets into the car. That creates a gap where the driver is completely uninsured.

    Insurance commissioners clash over NAIC’s internal governance review

    The organization several years ago opted to keep past presidents on the executive committee to retain their institutional knowledge. Although the idea made sense at the time, commissioners said, it inadvertently created a system where a contingent of past and current officers held too much power over the NAIC’s activities. The organization has long dealt with issues over whether larger states have more sway than smaller states. This built on those anxieties by introducing separate worries over whether former officers’ votes were more influential than others’. Leonardi in a fiery December 2013 letter to commissioners warned of a “cabal” of regulators who threatened to undermine CEO and former Sen. Ben Nelson and the NAIC.

    Interview with NAIC President Adam Hamm (Part 1) (Part 2)

    "If you look at what has happened just over the course of the last year, I have some very strong concerns that the legitimate issues and questions and, in some ways, objections we’re having aren’t being adequately addressed by federal leadership at the IAIS. But that’s something that they can turn around. The ball is in their court to work as hard as they can with America’s state insurance regulators on these issues to try to get us to a point where we can live with it."

    NAIC, industry groups blast IAIS over lack of transparency

    "I can’t accept negotiating with the IAIS over the ability to participate," consumer representative Sonja Larkin-Thorne said during the NAIC meeting. "In this country, the individuals that represent us represent the people. They have to allow us to have a voice in the process that impacts us."

     
  9. Double-A baseball: Where apparently everyone just sits around and waits on you.

     
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