Saturday, March 21, 2015

Canary In The Insurance Industry Coalmine

For years now, a lot of states' insurance regulatory agencies have been withering and dwindling, as experienced people flee or retire, never to be replaced. The seductive philosophy of deregulation has been increasingly embraced and implemented in most states, and it has taken a while for the excesses of such policies to become apparent. Here's a news story that details the predictable consequences of such policies--you get charismatic financial b.s. artists gaining control of insurance companies, via complicated and deceptive financial shenanigans, and then plundering the assets of said insurance companies, all while the overworked regulators are looking the other way.

Dallas National was a bit of a questionable operation, from everything this writer could observe, even before the nouveau riche whiz kid took control. But once he got it, hoo boy, did he have fun with the assets. It was a great party, while it lasted, hosting campaign fundraisers for Nikki Haley and using a quite-possibly-fake Caravaggio as an asset while he lived the good life. And nobody bothered to check the fabricated items on his resume, not until after the wheels started to come off and the whiz kid  checked himself into Bellevue with a nervous breakdown.

Now, they're trying to figure out "where the money went" and all the politicians and idiot enablers and hangers-on are running for cover. But before it was discovered that this emperor had no clothes, he managed to get four former insurance commissioners on his board, along with Bill Richardson, for crying out loud. Smoke and mirrors sure can pay well, for a while. And then it all ends in tears, as they say, and the rest of us are left to deal with the aftermath and the bills for all those expensive cigars and wine.

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