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!


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.