Economics

You'd Think That Increasing Lifespans Would Be All The Bailout Life Insurance Companies Ever Needed, But Now They're Getting TARP Funds, The Bastards!

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From The Wall Street Journal:

The news [of the bailout] will come as a relief to a number of iconic American companies [such as MetLife, Lincoln National, and Hartford] that have suffered big losses made worse by generous promises to buyers of some investment products. Shares of life insurers have fallen more than 40% this year. Their troubles led to a string of rating-agency downgrades that, in a vicious cycle, made it more difficult for some insurers to raise funds.

Not that all insurers are tanking:

Not all insurers have been openly struggling, and some retain triple-A ratings, including Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., New York Life Insurance Co., Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. and TIAA-CREF.

Yes, life insurance companies are important. As the Journal notes, "Millions of Americans have entrusted their families' financial safety to these companies, so keeping them on solid footing is crucial to maintaining confidence." However, bailing out more and more companies in more and more parts of the economy undermines the basic incentive at the heart of the super-productive market economy that has massively increased living standards—and life expectancies—since the Industrial Revolution.

Whole thing here.

We are rapidly approaching an ethos of No Company Left Behind or Too Small to Fail. Neither of those concepts works particularly well in K-12 education, where social promotion and other factors have only led to grade inflation and overblown sense of self. It's unlikely that bailing out every goddamn mismanaged business in sectors favored by government regulators is the path to recovery in the near term, much less to an innovative and growth-rich future.

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  1. Yeah, i’m looking forward to being 80 years old and living in a shitty collapsed country. That’s going to be awesome.

  2. X,

    Man there’s not reason you need to live that scenario out. When you hit 50, 55, 60, or whatever age you choose, go to Vegas, hire as many hookers as you can, buy a kilo of coke, and hit every buffet possible as many times as you are able.

    You should be dead within two weeks.

  3. Man there’s not reason you need to live that scenario out. When you hit 50, 55, 60, or whatever age you choose, go to Vegas, hire as many hookers as you can, buy a kilo of coke, and hit every buffet possible as many times as you are able.

    You should be dead within two weeks.
    _______________________________________________Sounds like a plan. maybe when i am old and getting frail i will cash out and do just what you suggested. old sick and in a home, or going out on your terms old coked up with hookers and good food. hmmmm. i choose the latter.

  4. X, you could just move to Roatan Island, buy a condo for $135k when you’re ready and relax.

    Roatan, it’s the Rainbow Puppy Island for retirees.

  5. SpongePaul, there was a story out a couple years ago where an elderly woman whose husband had died calculated how much a nursing home costs per month, and instead just used that cash to take cruises for the rest of her days. She was waited on, her room was cleaned for her, her meals included, and the other people around her were happy instead of miserable. She died on her terms in a lounge chair on the pool deck. A crew member discovered she had passed away and I think the cruiseline disposed of her with a proper burial. Not bad.

  6. ah roatan Island, i know it well. i love Belize and roatan and guanaja. Its actually my escape to area if this country goes too far down the tubes. My family, not me personally, but they know a few resort owners dive masters down there. Its the best place to travel to. not too touristy, great diving (blue hole) and just the friendlist people on the planet. and since they were a british colony and not spanish they all speak english

  7. “Hartford recently said it plans to infuse $20 million into a cash-strapped Florida thrift it agreed to purchase for $10 million to qualify for federal aid under TARP.”

    So, does this mean that my company, “Hookers ‘n Blow, Inc”, could buy a bank and qualify for TARP funds?

  8. Thanks, Sponge Paul. And now how long until Roatan is overrun and looking like Cancun?

  9. hey creech, it wont happen, its still kinda secret and unkown. although they did film a reality show with the couples and cheating or whatnot in belize. tourism jumped but when the show went off the air it was our little secret again. When i talk about belize i usually get the tilted puppy heads and blank expressions. They are like where is that it looks nice. the public schools are doing a great job of keeping it a little known paradise.

  10. *cruises MLS for Roatan*

  11. I’ll take List #08-43, thanks.

  12. Free money for everybody!

    Obama will do all the work; the rest of us can just cash the checks.

  13. Neither of those concepts works particularly well in K-12 education, where social promotion and other factors have only led to grade inflation and overblown sense of self.

    And trust me, if anyone knows about an overblown sense of self it’s Nick.

  14. Various grumbles about that chart being mostly predictions rather than data….

    Can’t we at least have a few words about what went into these guesses?

  15. So I think it’s really funny (read: devastating) that TARP is meaningless now. First it was for banking institutions. Uhhh, let’s add GM and the Chrishitter. Oh we need to add this too!

    This is fucked.

    How come nobody except reason makes a stink about this? THe gov hasnt even spent 350 bill (i think that’s right) of TARP, but everyone was still pissing themselves as they signed over another vague 787 bill.

    *Looks up to the sky…* Do ya hear that, Randy?….it’s the winds of shit….

    This is a low-shit system!!

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