Nothing could go wrong here:
After the mortgage business imploded last year, Wall Street investment banks began searching for another big idea to make money. They think they may have found one.
The bankers plan to buy “life settlements,” life insurance policies that ill and elderly people sell for cash — $400,000 for a $1 million policy, say, depending on the life expectancy of the insured person. Then they plan to “securitize” these policies, in Wall Street jargon, by packaging hundreds or thousands together into bonds. They will then resell those bonds to investors, like big pension funds, who will receive the payouts when people with the insurance die.
The earlier the policyholder dies, the bigger the return — though if people live longer than expected, investors could get poor returns or even lose money.
It is time for everyone to start learning how to garden, hunt, and can food.
fool me once…
“America: we let them leverage us to Hell.”
A Mom Anon
Well,I can garden and can food,so I’m almost ready for The Catastrophe.
Wacko Headlines from the New Boston Tea Party
ONE DOWN, TWENTY NINE TO GO
Obama ‘Green Jobs’ Adviser Van Jones Resigns Amid Controversy
Van Jones was sent packing as his moving company Van Lines made a stop in D.C. He was seen throwing his garbage into the trailer early this morning. Let’s see Wright overboard, Farrakhan under the truck, Ayers persona non-grata, Khalibi was long gone. And we have 29 more Communist (aka Socialist) Czars to go.
Found on the road dead, Van Jones, with mattress in tow was heading back to Chi Town to his old haunting ground. He can now dispense with his vitriolic diatribe and socialist invective to his flock of flunkies who live in downtown Chicago. The Junk Yard Dog will be waiting for him with open mouth. By [sic] Van, write another book on how bad you were treated by the press and the anti conspiracy mongers.
WANTED FOR TREASON
Sen. Olympia Snowe is part of the bipartisan so-called
“Gang of Six” negotiating on health care
WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE, YOU DO NOT NEED ENEMIES.
Die! Or the economy will collapse….
Soon we’ll be talking about a life bubble.
Why did I get a message “awaiting moderation” when I only had 2 links in my previous message in this thread?
Screw gardening, canning and hunting- why don’t we just set a guillotine up on the steps of the NYSE or outside Goldman Sachs and do what needs to be done? Say what you will about the French, but they do Revolutions right.
As if the suspicion that Wall Street was indifferent to our lives and well-being wasn’t already strong enough, this comes along.
When do they cut to the chase and have banking laws revised so they can snatch us off the street to harvest our organs?
By “Wall St jargon”, we mean activity that is technically legal, morally bankrupt, and threatens to destroy the country.
@JK: You mentioned the verboten phrase for a certain economic system involving public ownership of the means of production, methinks.
No potential conflict of interest to see here. Move along, citizens.
More hysteria from Planet Wingnut over Obama’s upcoming speech to students
National Tea Party Coalition Announces “Hall Pass on That” for September 8th Presidential Address
The Nationwide Tea Party Coalition announces “Hall Pass on That,” the alternative to President Barack Obama’s September 8th address to school children across the nation. The group asks that schools who choose to participate in the president’s September 8th program offer an alternative to students and families who do not wish to view, or have their children view, a partisan address or participate in activities that did not follow proper educational protocol or obtain parental consent.
Dana Loesch, Nationwide spokesperson for the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition, announced the launch of the “Hall Pass on That” website: http://www.hallpassonthat.com to provide parents who oppose the Department of Education’s proposed presidential program. “We are suggesting several action steps parents can take if they do not approve of their children participating in a partisan presentation conducted without their consent.”
The four steps propose by the Coalition:
1. Contact the child’s school to find out whether or not your school is participating in the president’s September 8th program.
2. If your child’s school is participating, ask what alternatives there are for the children of families who wish their students learn about the establishment of the country respective to the Founding Father’s intentions. Discussion can focus on the Constitution, the definition and actions of a republic, and the responsibility of elected leaders to their constituents.
3. Ask if the school can excuse your child from the presentation and instead receive a DVD of the address and copy of the activity directives to be evaluated by parents at a later date.
4. Request meeting with the school board, superintendent, and principal to inquire as to why parents were excluded from the decision-making process of this event.
Yes, presidents have spoken to schoolchildren before, but when circumstances required it. President Ronald Reagan addressed students after the Challenger shuttle disaster was witnessed live by millions of schoolchildren; George H. W. Bush addressed students as part of the effort to counteract the growing drug use by schoolchildren.
Parents are also concerned as the entire program was crafted with help from the president’s White House Teaching Fellows, some of whom are activists with documented hostility towards the very tenants of our republic.
The Nationwide Tea Party Coalition cannot afford to extend this administration the courtesy of any doubt when it comes to the education of our children and our schools are not the place to present one-sided agendas, especially without parental consent.
Screw the guillotine. What we need to do is bring back
This should end well……
When it ends in catastrophe, I’m sure we’ll be able to blame it on minorities and poor people being allowed to buy life insurance policies they couldn’t afford.
So, I almost think this has to be a joke.
The show “Leverage” is about a bunch of vigilante con-artists, and they use a scam called “Glen Gary, Glen Death” that is THIS EXACT IDEA.
Wall Street getting its investment ideas from a TNT Drama, the end is near.
Because of the environmental damage they cause, Alabama allows 24/7/365 hunting of wild hogs in its national forests and WMAs, with “gun, bow, knife, or spear” as acceptable weapons.
Hunting wild hogs with a spear…. that’s my emergency plan.
I need SOMEthing after the judges said no to sports betting in Delaware.
I’d like to take “under December 2015” on Grandma for $100, please.
As I’ve stated elsewhere, I always got my kids to watch as much of GWBush as they could stand, as nothing condemned the man as his own words (and delivery)..My daughter would be slackjawed with amazement or paralyzed by laughter at the inanity. And my usually deadpan son could see the lies “Iraq didn’t have anything to do with 9=11, Dad!”Youtube and the Daily Show were a great help.
I’m trying to think ot the calls of “Not Patriotic” we would have heard had Libruls taken their kids out of school for a Bush address. Not that many would bother. My kids have some critical thinking skills…
And I actually grew up on a farm where we canned and froze and (as it was a dairy farm, with pigs, and chickens) killed and butchered our own cows, hogs, chickens. It’s a lot of work, and I seriously doubt 20% of the population would make it…
And then there is the skills it takes.
I still garden and will shoot deer when they are in that garden, but self sufficiency is more of pipe dream for most.
General Winfield Stuck
Wall Street hears what it wants. Somebody said, “Hey, let’s leverage this shit” and they heard “Let’s lift this shit”.
The Grand Panjandrum
These new securities could very well be problematic if once again Wall Street is using some bad data, or a faulty formula to calculate the PV of these instruments. Worse, they have no control over is how the insurance company enforces the policy. What state is the insurance company based in? How tough is the regulation of that policy? And on, and on, and on.
This should get a lot coverage in the media after our current debacle with mortgages if they are doing a good job. IOW we’re fucked. PT Barnum was right. So was Santayana.
I heard about this on the news this morning…face/palm. This idea is incrediblely, stupendously dumb. Want to talk about an incentive to off dear old Grannies…
I think I am going to stock up on seeds, canned tuna and peanut butter.
Probably won’t make it through the first winter.
So when people start living longer than they are “supposed” to, will Wall Street convene its own set of Death Panels to ensure a proper return on investment?
The Grand Panjandrum
@MR Bill: C’mon you know those damn librulz were doing the same thing with Bush when they argued his 2000 “election” was tainted. The librulz do the same thing, only worse!
It’s nothing short of galling that the righties don’t see the difference between complaints about how Bush made it to the WH in 2000 and what is happening right now.
And as far as self suffiency goes it has been a priority of mine since 2002. I agree that a small percentage of our population would make it if that became a reality.
@demkat620: Thanks for a good laugh. Now off to work.
I expect that, in a few months, we’ll be reading secret memos from financial wizards about how to make sure that H1N1 flu finds its way into local nursing homes and hospices. And how can anyone object? It’s the free market alternative to ‘death panels’. Good times!
This is gross beyond measure. Is it even legal?
Death panel roulette, place your bets here.
IMHO, securitization is not inherently eveil. We had mortgage backed securities long before collateralized debt obligations – they were called real estate investment trusts back in the day. Those investments had a single kind of risk pool – as in mortgages where people put 20% down and had mortgages not exceeding 2.2 times gross income. That would be rated AAA. A different investment might include mortgages with 5% down and up to 3 times gross income. That might be rated A or AB. The securities were priced and had returns that varied by risk. Everything was known up front.
CDOs changed the equation. A CDO might include tranches (slices) from many risk pools including tranches from subprime garbage, but somehow Moody’s and others got conned or paid to rate these things AAA even though they might include 30% or more subprime tranches. It was this fundamental dishonesty about underlying risk that created the nightmare.
I invest today in securitized green development projects. They give developers and visionaries some space to take risks with innovative designs, methods and materials. The risk is made very clear up front. All of who invest in these things understand the downside. So, securitization is not necessarily bad – it depends on how it is done.
@DZ: DZ brings up a good point: securitization is not inherently evil. However, I cannot see how securitizing life insurance is not morally reprehensible. Here you are making an investment vehicle where one makes more money if more people die. How is that not disgusting?
Look who wants to kill Grandma now.
It’s like Ben Franklin’s definition of insanity, doing the same thing but expecting a different result.
This cannot end well.
regardless of the financial wizardry of this, there’s something definitely topping out the creepy scale about it. what friggin ghouls even devised these schemes.
i swear, osama bin laden — hell, the chinese — must be sitting back and marveling at how wall street capitalists are accomplishing their wildest dreams — and they didn’t have to lose a drop of blood in the collapse of the united states. if only osama had thought of credit default swaps.
So now we will have Wall St actively opposing new treatments and new drugs that could affect their return on investment. Yep, that should work out great.
Oh, I don’t disagree with you at all. Hoping for people to die to maximize return is disgusting.
General Winfield Stuck
We need a return to the Buffalo Chip standard.
Yeah, but if we regulate them we’ll only constrict the goose that eats the golden eggs, or something.
I’m not knee-jerk anti-Wall Street, and I don’t automatically oppose creative efforts to make money. But I have a definite problem, on a fundamental basis, with any sort of monetary incentive for premature death. Beyond the implications of presenting the premature demise of insured individuals as something positive and to be hoped for — ghastly enough in and of itself — there are further implications of the financial industry pitting itself against medical advances and breakthroughs that could extend lives and cure diseases. How insidious is that?
Experience has shown us that we can’t count on financiers as a whole to have the basic human decency necessary to draw appropriate moral lines regarding how money is made. This securitization scheme is, quite simply, a thoroughly bad idea.
The Grand Panjandrum
@General Winfield Stuck: Win.
@El Cid: We get the goose egg and Wall Street gets the gold.
Let me be among those generally opposed to “creative” methods in finance.
I think we need to be pretty god-damned stodgy and boring on the Wall Street Big Finance front for the next several decades at least.
[note: Going off on an OT tangent, and taking this statement far more seriously than intended, so forgive my thinking out loud here. tl;dr, in any case]
Easy for you to say, mister lives in rural West Virginia. Those of us who live in urbanized population centers (i.e., more than three quarters of the U.S. population ) don’t have this option. In any event, “increased chance of surviving the complete collapse of civilization” is not really a key selling point for a rural lifestyle for me: I suppose it’s my urban centered situational bias, but the phrase “envy the dead” leaps to mind. But that’s neither here nor there.
Rather, I find it quite interesting that many of the people who are so vociferously advocating sentiments that would hasten said collapse  live in the rural South, the empty West, or deep in Appalachia . A sort of anticipative FYIGM.
I believe that this macho survivalist magical thinking has a significant influence on the current Great Lunacy we’re seeing. These people speaking in increasingly strident tones about the coming “revolution,” or fearfully warning of the ominous Program that Obamunism will force upon them, want a break down in the current social compact, thinking that they will wind up in a superior social position by virtue of their guns, their values, and their acreage – their present place in the system (i.e., an economically disadvantaged minority population) will be reversed, and (more importantly) justified. (Up until their children need antibiotics, of course, but that’s besides the point).
 I’m speaking of the violent rhetoric of the right wing, by the way – not the failed market theory discussed the other day by Krugman (which is far more likely to actually cause a collapse than anything the right wing activists do or say), or the proposed securitization of death discussed here.
 Speaking of Appalachia, I am aware that the apathetic apocalyptic acceptance expressed here by Mr. Cole is a sarcastic one. However, I suggest that the whole “fuck it, let society crumble, ‘people are bloody ignorant apes,’ let it all go to hell” frustration is more likely to be entertained by people living some self-sustaining lifestyle (or, rather, one that they believe to be self-sustaining – needless to say, it almost certainly is not), which has a certain whiff of FYIGM.
massive debt as an investment was such a great idea!
casino-ing life expectancies — YEEHAW!
gardening and hunting…and a small cave in the woods is becoming my idea of a good time…
“oops, wrong planet”
(is that bowie?)
Geez, why should our response to adversity be celebrating a return to the 1890’s?
Thrill. As someone who has done that on a working farm, let me tell you there was a good reason for Ford to make a mint getting them off it.
I say, forward to the 2090’s. Rustle up some of that gennied algae. Give me that all plastic horizontal apartment. Put a chip in my head!
I’d prefer it.
Leelee for Obama
1) Remember the “viatical” bubble of the late 80s or so when investors bought out AIDS patients’ life insurance? The drugs improved & the vultures went broke …
2) This post needs the “assholes” tag.
Useless Villager shitknuckle Bob Schieffer is working the “maybe the Schoolers have a point” angle. Of course. Equivalency is everything.
I’m very glad that one of the lessons learned from the 1980s collapse of the Savings & Loan sector of the banking system was the need to deregulate the banking & investment sector and allow ‘creative’ methods in finance to go non-regulated.
Clearly our response to the crisis we have just lived must include pronouncing any transaction involving a lot of money to go unregulated. This would help.
Yes I do and before I got to your post I was going to post that amazingly that article (and no posters before you) never mention that what they are talking about is Viatical Settlements which were always a business I though was thought of as one step above drug dealing or book making.
Now Wall Street is involved.
@Napoleon: IIRC, the whole reason viatical settlements came into existence in the first place — not to mention the only possible justification for them — was that people stricken with terminal diseases needed the extra funds to pay for their medical care. Health care reform would eliminate this need for viatical settlements — yet another reason for unprincipled money-makers to oppose reform. Like I said, this whole idea is morally repugnant.
…And I see that Warren Terra essentially covered this first. I need more coffee.
Let’s bring back the tontine.
“Each investor pays a sum into the tontine. Each investor then receives annual dividends on his capital. As each investor dies, his or her share is reallocated amongst the surviving investors. This process continues until only one investor survives. [. . .] The proceeds of the subscription were used to fund various private or public works projects. [. . .] In a later variation, the capital would devolve upon the last survivor, effectively dissolving the trust and usually making the survivor very wealthy; it is this version that has often been the plot device for mysteries and detective stories.”
Too Victorian? Maybe we could dress it up with a high-tech, quant-y name.
To hell with the financial engineering, they must be just ecstatic about Fox News and Glenn Beck.
Does Wall Street do ANYTHING other than “bundle and dump” anymore?
And talk about wanting your white granny to die… how do you sell this? “Hey, if the old goat kicks the bucket a year early, you get an extra point on your interest return”? Pressure on medical facilities to pull the plug (Wall St Death Panels) because we need to hit our number this quarter and meet investor expectations?
This is one sick concept.
this is a brilliant idea when we’re considering changing the system so everyone in the country has access to affordable health care. i mean, the increase in life expectancy that will follow will do wonders for this plan.
This may explain why senior citizens are becoming increasingly paranoid about Medicare and death panels.
Will Doctors need to reveal their investment interests to their patients before recommending treatment?
The insurance companies see a win-win here. Deny treatment and clean up when the patient dies.
What a scam.
Leelee for Obama
@Steeplejack: Jesus, Mary and Joseph on a popsicle stick! When I was a very precocious 10 yo, I spent a summer at my Nana’s Brooklyn, NY home. I read all the books on the shelves in the sun room and the Tontine was the one that stuck with me for ages! Even then, I thought that it was so Evil and was assured by Nana that it was just a story-thanks for the reminder.
This is what Obama gets for thinking the GOP was interested in his metaphorical heart and mind for leadership, and not in his literal heart and liver for dinner.
Many people upthread have pointed out that under this system the welfare of our economy, or of individual investors, could rest upon our getting Granny to die on schedule like she was supposed to, dammit! But, of course, our benevolent Republican overlords already implemented just such a policy with the Estate Tax: if your wealthy ancestor happens to kick it in 2010, you get the whole bundle tax-free, but if they should be so selfish as to survive past New Year’s Eve then the full 2001 tax rate takes a chunk of everything over a million and a half or so. That’s why Krugman called the tax bill the “Throw Granny From The Train Act”.
We also already have innumerable television ads for so-called “Reverse Mortgages”, and I’d be grateful if anyone could tell me how those transactions are less bloodthirsty or vulturous than the Viatical Settlements we’re discussing here.
@ Ash Can #51
Excellent points, both of them. I’m not sure that life insurance should be used as a savings mechanism, but given that it is then I’m not sure that this sort of system in which you can get your life insurance bought out is automatically a bad thing, especially when sold to the elderly rather than to individuals predicted to die unusually young. But on the other hand, although you can understand what moves the policy holders to sell out, and maybe they are indeed getting a fair deal, the potential for abuse is so enormous, and the people doing the buying are so obviously and disreputably sniffing around for and celebrating signs of imminent death. Still, if you’re dying soon and trapped life insurance equity could give you a chance to live better or to achieve unrealized dreams, surely the selling isn’t evil – and thus how can the buying be evil, even considering the bloodthirsty method involved? As you point out, the critical aspect is people being extorted into the transaction by expenses they wouldn’t fear in a civilized society. If peoples’ health care were covered – and I’d add better disability support as well, for living expenses – then the incentives driving the aged or terminally ill person into this transaction would become a lot less twisted.
P.S. Aren’t some “life insurance” policies constructed so they double as savings schemes, with a (manageable) penalty for early withdrawal – and thus come with this sort of buy-out already baked in?
@Leelee for Obama:
Seems like there is a movie comedy–The Wrong Box or The Oblong Box, maybe–that turns on a tontine and the potential heirs’ efforts to, er, direct the outcome. Think maybe it had Michael Caine in it, and I seem to remember a hilarious scene in which Peter Sellers, as some sort of aged scrivener, uses a kitten as a blotter. Too lazy to look it up now.
Leelee for Obama
@Steeplejack: Yes, I think The Wrong Box. Haven’t thought of that in ages, either! I always preferred the dry, black British humor-likely why I’m a Stewart/Colbert fan, most of the time.
Surely the classic (British) Inheritance Comedy is Kind Hearts And Coronets?
Giving Wall Street inverstors incentive to murder the elderly. What could possibly go wrong?
Didn’t they used to call this “gambling”?
Leelee for Obama
@b-psycho: Which is what I’ve always called the stock market anyway. It’s a Casino that you play in from your laptop or phone in oyur bunny slippers.
Leelee for Obama
@Leelee for Obama: Modererated?!
I deliberately didn’t use s h o e s! is it now verboten to say s l i p p e r s? or c a s i n o ?
But there wasn’t a tontine involved, I don’t think.
Indeed not. Nonetheless I maintain that its plot is relevant to the thread.
On a small scale, this was going on a few years ago, when a lot of people were dying quickly of AIDS. Dying people, mainly gays with no dependents, would sell their life insurance so that they would have money to live on. The buyers offered a guaranteed income as long as they lived (usually only months.) The buyers started losing money when effective AIDS drugs came out.
Wall Street is betting on people dying sooner, and they’re trying to ensure that nobody has health care.
Gee, I wish I could connect these dots.
FWIW, Felix Salmon thinks this particular financial innovation is both a non-starter and a non-goer.
And let me guess, they’ll sell unregulated derivatives based on those new securities. Hedge funds will be created for those betting granny will stay upright longer than expected.
Distilling, don’t forget distilling. Plus if the Russian experience is a guide, how to make glass bottles.
Met and briefly got to know a Russian Army officer. Told me during Soviet times there was never enough vodka from state distillers to go around including to low rank officers. Said some closet evildoer capitalists tried to meet the demand by bootlegging.
He said one problem bootleggers had was they couldn’t legitimately get glass bottles from state run businesses. Bribes and payoffs worked, but still couldn’t get enough glass. Since there was an abundance of clay and underemployed workers barely surviving, some entrepreneur bootleggers had pottery bottles made. Some higher-class bootleggers had fairly ornate pottery bottles produced with their signature colors, designs, and stamps.
Got three of those bottles from the Russian officer. Minus jewels, almost like hillbilly Faberge. Wasn’t going to open any until had a party and curiosity plus the encouragement of drunks got to me. No cap or cork, totally sealed bottle. Broke one open. Worst rotgut ever. Never drank anything so foul up to then or since. No wonder the Soviet Union collapsed.
As Americans, when the time comes we can do better than those godless Ruskies, goddamnit.
A local so-and-so started putting up billboards all over town for his business. No phone number, address, or anything — just the name of the company, a slogan about helping people, and himself named as president. It took a few inquiries before I found out the firm in question bought and sold viaticals.
Imagine my surprise (/sarcasm) when a month or so later, every one of those billboards magically became ads for his congressional run. His campaign was two-pronged: 1) Point at the Democratic incumbent, open mouth, and scream like Donald Sutherland at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers; 2) “an’ I got th’ money to do it, too!” Mercifully, he lost.
Didn’t Wal*Mart try this with their Dead Peasant Policies. Well I guess the DPP technically did the life insurance without the workers knowledge (although they can’t do that anymore). If wikipedia is to be trusted, Wal*Mart lost $1.3 billion.
Great, let’s mix heartlessness, betting on one’s death, and creating the backbone for another wall street crisis all in one!
J. A. Baker
Fuck the guillotine, let’s launch them from a trebuchet mounted on the top of the Empire State Building. Let people bet on how far they’ll fly.
Or come to think of it, here’s some suggestions from the late, great George Carlin.
Discuss among yourselves.
Where have you been, DougJ? Asset securitization is the public finance choice of the day.
How many states called their anticipated tobacco settlement revenue an asset and securitized against it? Enough so that when one of the companies threatened to go bankrupt over a private lawsuit, the court reduced the award amount so as not to jeopardize the revenue stream for the states’ securitization.
Here in California the state has securitized tobacco settlement and Indian gaming revenue, one of the virtues being that the bonds issued aren’t considered general obligation bonds subject to approval of the voters.
They tried to securitize State Lottery revenue to help balance the current budget. However, because the lottery was created by initiative, the proposal had to be put on the ballot…and it lost.
Well sometimes Granny gets the last laugh:
Of course, it doesn’t matter who wants to sell, now does it? If we’ve learned one thing from CDOs, it’s that you can wager on anything, especially someone else’s potential misfortune. Hell, why have anybody sell at all. Just take out your own policies on everybody over X years old and bundle it up. Everybody dies eventually. Brilliant! Betting the farm on buying the farm.
Of course, Goldman will come out smelling like roses, and the life insurance industry will become a smoking hole, but hey.
Woodchippers on the roof of the exchange. Make Wall St. look like a Gwar concert.
Ooooh. Screwy tag behavior.
Second paragraph should be in the blockquote.
Apparently, italics trump.
Leelee for Obama
Looks like Death Panels are needed to deal with this issue…
Reading farther into the article, and look who’s in it with both fists.
Goldman Sachs has developed a tradable index of life settlements, enabling investors to bet on whether people will live longer than expected or die sooner than planned.
Ah, yes, good old Goldman Sachs… and, farther along…
To help understand how to manage these risks, Ms. Tillwitz and her colleague Jan Buckler — a mathematics whiz with a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering —
Those “mathematics whizzes”… the same ones who helped develop the CDSs which, in no small part, led to the real estate bubble and the current financial mess we’re current in right now. You’d think they would have learned their lesson (or, at least, you’d hope their potential clients would); but, here they are, less than a year removed from the crash-and-burn, with the same old same-old. And just so you understand where these people are coming from…
The solution? A bond made up of life settlements would ideally have policies from people with a range of diseases — leukemia, lung cancer, heart disease, breast cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s. That is because if too many people with leukemia are in the securitization portfolio, and a cure is developed, the value of the bond would plummet.
Yes, if we find a cure for leukemia, or AIDS, or breast cancer, or heart disease… that’s bad.
You think this type of investment vehicle may not have a chilling effect on medical decisions? Or research?
With $26 trillion of life insurance policies in force in the United States, the market could be huge.
BTW, every time I come to the conclusion that Alex Jones or Sean David Morton are total kooks with their bullshit about a “New World Order” or some cabal planning on “the elimination of 90% of the world’s population”, something like this comes up which makes them look damn near spot on.
But they’re both still kooks…
Am I really the only one who thought of that great American
investment opportunity – the Tontine?
Everything old is new again.
Look it up you kids, and get off my lawn.
Here’s a thought: try @reading the thread.
It is time for everyone to start learning how to garden, hunt, and can food.
Is it all right if I just become vegetarian, except for those times I happen upon fresh road kill? Sounds easier.
this along with the cap and trade derivatives market.I’m glad I am not a compulsive gambler.
Goldman Sacks.Now it makes sense why John Corzine would give up his CEO job there and spend 75 million dollars of his own money to run for governor of N.J.
@jaquestraw: How about a rule that if Goldman Sachs is going to deal in viaticals, then their executives and board members must have a viatical policy on them. A nice fat one for 10 mil.
Well, on the bright side, this will spur many new businesses, which is all that really matters isn’t it? Specialized ninja assassins to off grandma if she lives too long, explosives consulting shops to help blow up any pharmaceutical companies that dare come up with cures for cancer and other terminal illnesses, and new lobbying firms that ensure that health care reform is dead on arrival (can’t have people seeing good doctors & getting cured and shit). And as someone pointed out, this time no taxpayer bailout will be needed when things invariably go wrong – just kill everyone over 65 using the ninja assassins and the situation will right itself. Talk about vulture capitalism.
@Comrade Darkness who will be the beneficiary,seniors disabled?its a paradox
But I thought Meagain McArdle was all about how the U.S. heath care system was the reason there was any innovation in pharma? Wonder how that’ll work when wall street is actively rooting for death?
So many suggestions already – wood chippers, guillotines, trebuchets. Hell, I’d just like some vise-like regulations on the whole damned casino.
who will be rolling the dice the erudite gentleman from Mass.Barney Frank
@ catclub I get it,There can be only one like the highlander
Phoenician in a time of Romans
Where the hell is the money coming from for this? It isn’t an investment, drawing off a business profit – if Wall Street “wins”, the insurance companies must “lose”. It’s one set of fat cats gambling against another set – and you damn well know that the ordinary guys caught in the middle will end up holding the bill.
Sorry for the late comment – I was canning bread and butter pickles all day yesterday. Today it’s peaches. Seriously, if you want to can – and it is great!! – call your local extension office and use laboratory tested recipes. Leave botulism for the wingnuts. The commentariat at BJ is too smart to risk food poisoning.