Bailout Spreading Beyond Banks

triciaeOctober 25, 2008

You can add Prudential, The Hartford, & MetLife to the growing list of financial (insurers) institutions requiring help from the TARP program. It seems obvious that the $700-$800B won't be adequate to squash the systemic risk to our economy caused by the housing debacle. Also in the article is a discussion of National City's failure.

Note in the article that annuities are only guaranteed up to $100K. Wow, I wonder how many senior citizens are relying on annuities? In the spring of '06, we had a maturing CD & since we're nearing retirement almost dropped $250K into an glad we decided it wasn't a good idea. We stayed in cash.

For good news, DH told me mortgage apps have been up a bit the past week. Surprised me. Could be a fluke...too soon to know.


Here is a link that might be useful: Rescue of Insurance Companies

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There will definitely be more bad news on the financial front in the coming weeks and months. This thing is not over yet. The biggest risk is that, as the crisis deepens just when people thought that the bailout package was supposed to "fix" it, then gloom and pessimism will take over and feed on itself. It's already started to happen, and may continue for a while.

I do not think we've hit a bottom yet.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 10:28AM
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Hey T,
Beware of Lucy reading this thread and admonishing you about your 250k pile of cash..Don't you know people are losing their jobs/homes ;)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 11:23AM
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There's still a lot of hedge fund deleveraging that has to go on, so I wouldn't expect things to get better until such forced selling tapers off. Such selling is apparently one of the contributing factors to the emerging markets sell-off and commodity faltering: hedge funds were extensively invested in both areas.

Since hedge funds severely limit redemptions, the selling will take several months, probably at least a couple of quarters, to work itself out.

You'd have to expect insurers to apply for handouts; they are a major part of the financial markets and always have been. It's not like they take in insurance premiums and then stash them in a vault somewhere, LOL.

Believe me, they put that money to work aggressively. CIGNA used to have a "zero floor" for their individual divisions (there were 5 of them) and each year, the dept. budgets would be a "zero + X%" the division had to earn in the marketplace.

It took my old boss about three years to dig down and finally get an actuary to confess that the "zero floor", which supposedly covered basic admin and op overhead, also contained a good-sized percentage based on what the company made on average from its investments in the markets and RE development. This "zero floor" percentage was 17% - meaning each division had to earn way more than that every year, to be more profitable than what CIGNA earned just from investing premiums.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 12:50PM
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qdog-"Hey T,
Beware of Lucy reading this thread and admonishing you about your 250k pile of cash..Don't you know people are losing their jobs/homes ;)"

At least you weren't dumb enough to get sucked into a sub-prime loan from a crooked lender who could have cared less if you actually qualified or not. Right? ;)

And God bless those CEO's of Lehmans, Nat City, etc who will be walking away with huge (unearned) bonus's while their employees look forward to the unemployment lines this winter.

I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to find a way to blame these employees for being in the wrong place at the wrong time either. Hmm?!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 4:06PM
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Keep dreaming,dreamgarden ;)

I have a HUGE problem with those who blame those or admonish those who may or may not be better off then them...And i am not saying the CEO's you mention are innocent and shouldn't be held accountable...and for the record,i am not wealthy,but feel people should not blame the rich for their problems...

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 7:41PM
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I have to agree with qdognj - We're not rich, but I sure realize when I get myself in trouble it is my fault and not others. Just like I think all the CEO's and other key figures involved in the mess should be held accountable I also think people shouldn't just get a free ride out of this mess either.

Also somebody tried to suck me into a sub-prime and I just went elsewhere. I do think people have to be somewhat held responsible for looking at what their options are when buying a home. I knew nothing about mortgages when I bought my first home, but I went and did a lot of reading and learning about it before choosing along with asking lots of questions.

I just hope what comes out of this mess is some learning on all levels and I know it is farfetched, but I'd sure like to see some of the entitlement that people seem to feel they have about things, money, houses, cars etc. will become one more of respect for being able to have/do what they do have instead.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 10:36PM
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