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Thursday, October 02, 2008
Dusty Harry Torpedoes Insurance Industry
by Cordeiro

If I had the time and inclination of a Day Trader I'd have short-sold every major insurance company in the industry this morning. Why? Well, Senate Majority Leader Dusty Harry (D-Circus Circus) went before the microphone bank on Capitol Hill last night and boldly declared the following to prove the importance of passing the Rescue Bill as soon as possible:


We don't have a lot of leeway on time. One of the individuals in the caucus today talked about a major insurance company -- a major insurance company -- one with a name that everyone knows that's on the verge of going bankrupt. That's what this is all about.


Take a moment to re-read that statement, dear reader. In the wake of the AIG collapse, the Senate Majority leader warns of a "major insurance company" – "one with a name that just about everyone knows" is about to go belly up.  What's worse is Dusty Harry didn't name a specific "major insurance company" by name. Therefore the entire industry has taken it in its collective shorts during today's trading.


Well, as of this writing any "major insurance company" that wasn't close to bankruptcy just got a lot closer. Here's a sampling:


Prudential: Down 4.21%

MetLife: Down 14%

Travelers: Down 4.2%

AFLAC: Down 6%


And those are just the major ones I know off the top of my head.


Couple Dusty Harry's loose lips with those of UpChuck Schumer which (directly or indirectly) led to a run on IndyMac Bank and the Senate Jackass Caucus has cost the American economy nearly five billion dollars in the past two months.


Dusty Harry did not find his way back to the microphone bank to apologize for his loose lipped torpedoing of the insurance industry. He sent out a spear catching spokesman to issue this weak statement:


Senator Reid is not personally aware of any particular company being on the verge of bankruptcy. Rather, his comments were meant to refer to the conditions in the financial sector generally. He regrets any confusion his comments may have caused.

Thanks, Harry. I'm sure the executives, employees, and most of all the shareholders of the aforementioned companies and others like them are satisfied with your half-hearted apology. I'm sure they'd be more satisfied had you kept your fool mouth shut instead of trying to score political points with their hard earned cash.
Here endeth the lesson.

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