1. "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."

  2. One of these things is not like the other

    An unofficial list of certified NFL “distractions”:














  3. (Source: gallup.com)


  5. 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."

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


  9. Clippings, July 2014

    Senate likely to take up TRIA reauthorization bill this week

    The legislation, which was introduced by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., would renew the federal backstop for seven years and slightly reduce the government’s financial responsibilities. The Senate Banking Committee unanimously approved the bill in June, drawing widespread praise from trade groups representing the insurance and construction industries, as well as sports venues and universities.

    Senate passes 7-year TRIA reauthorization

    The federal government first instituted the risk-sharing program following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks to encourage insurers to cover major construction projects. Although originally intended as a temporary measure, it has nevertheless generated broad bipartisan support in Congress. Prior to its passage by the full Senate, the reauthorization bill won unanimous approval from the Senate Banking Committee.

    FSOC facing greater scrutiny as nonbank SIFI process drags into 5th year

    The muscle behind that pledge would be the Financial Stability Oversight Council. An all-star collection of some of the nation’s highest-ranking regulators, the FSOC was conceived as a watchdog powerful and smart enough to head off the next meltdown and rein in the riskiest companies along the way. Arguably, no other agency was handed such a broad mandate — or assumed so much responsibility — in the wake of Dodd-Frank’s passage.

    CEO Greenberg blasts ‘gossip mill’ over report on ACE’s reinsurance negotiations

    ACE is in solid standing within the reinsurance industry, Greenberg said during an earnings call, defending its hardline tactics during negotiations as necessary to fulfill its fiduciary duty to get a fair deal.

    "Yeah, we read that in that local rag that picked that up," he said.

    Aspen to double aviation war insurance rates after Malaysia Airlines crash

    The company plans to double the prices for its aviation war insurance and increase its reinsurance rates by 200% to 300%. The disasters should boost demand for the coverage, O’Kane said, providing Aspen with a “market opportunity” to hike its rates.


  10. Clippings, June 2014

    Endurance Specialty gambles on Aspen shareholder support in takeover bid

    "The new proposal places Aspen’s fate in its shareholders’ hands, in hopes they will break with management and vote to sell the company. But it represents a risky play. If Aspen’s investors stand firm, Endurance could be forced to abandon its takeover attempt for good. The consequences of that high-stakes gamble will likely ripple through the rest of the reinsurance industry, analysts said, as companies try to weather a seismic shift in the sector’s competitive dynamics."

    McGee’s exit to end successful turnaround era at The Hartford

    "The insurer’s comeback was far from assured just five years ago. When McGee took the helm in October 2009, he inherited a company crippled by the financial crisis. The Hartford’s massive bet on variable annuities years earlier had backfired, draining its capital as equity markets plunged and the recession took hold. It took emergency financial support from Allianz SE and $3.4 billion in TARP funds to keep the company afloat. Even with that, The Hartford’s stock had at one point dipped below $4.00 per share, and analysts harbored concerns about its ability to rebuild.”

    House to release 5-year TRIA reauthorization bill, aims to scale back program

    "A discussion draft of Neugebauer’s TRIA Reform Act of 2014 obtained by SNL would extend the federal backstop through Dec. 31, 2019. However, it would progressively raise the industry aggregate loss threshold necessary to trigger the program. Insured losses from a certified terror attack currently need to exceed $100 million. The House bill would raise that level to $200 million in 2016. It would then increase the threshold by $100 million each year, eventually hitting $500 million in 2019."

    Insurance groups lukewarm on House’s TRIA reauthorization plan

    "The industry criticized new terms included in the proposal that would make it harder for insurers to receive financial support following a terror attack and argued that the bill would hurt competition and drive up coverage premiums. Some also worried that the measure would open the door to eliminating the federal program altogether, potentially destabilizing the terrorism insurance market and disrupting large-scale construction activity."

    Reinsurers’ pricing woes mean big bargains for P&C insurers

    "Property catastrophe reinsurance rates fell only about 5% in January 2013. In April and June, reinsurance brokers said renewal prices routinely dropped by 10% to 20%. Another period of similarly severe discounts would push rates below pre-Sept. 11, 2001, levels, Moody’s warned June 18, making it difficult for reinsurers to earn their cost of capital."

    House Financial Services Committee passes 5-year TRIA reauthorization

    "Neugebauer and Hensarling will now push for House consideration of the five-year renewal within the next few weeks. If it passes, lawmakers will likely have to reconcile it with a competing bill expected to be approved in the Senate. The Senate bill would reauthorize the program for seven years, and make only incremental changes to the government’s financial responsibilities.

    Though Neugebauer has threatened to hold up the process in favor of a short-term extension if he cannot secure “a good bill,” it is unclear how much support he could rally.”