So, my question of the day is do the life insurance companies, such as Met Life, Prudential, Hartford and others still want to line up at the door of the U.S. Treasury and get some of that low cost money being dangled in front of them by a desperate Fed and Treasury?
Today's inquistion by Congressman Henry Waxman of the banks who took the government bail out funds should give any sensible life insurance company CEO sufficient pause as to the true cost of taking government funds.
"Waxman, a California Democrat, asked the nine banks to divulge total company compensation, average compensation for each employee, and the reasons for any year-to-year changes in the amounts for 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Waxman also asked for the number of employees paid or projected to be paid more than $500,000, and the total and projected compensation for the banks' 10 highest-paid employees."
Ok, so which one of the life markets wants to be next to have the Congressional oversight committees start kicking around in their corporate business, or as is happening now, being told to " start lending and stop hoarding the cash."
My point is this, the second you take one dime from the Federal government in any way, shape or form, they own you. My son reminded me of a great scene in the classic mafia movie, Casino, where the Teamster Pension funds give the money to some rube real estate guy to build the Tangiers Casino, all the while the mob realizes the money is a front, palms are greased and they will be the real owners of the hotel.
What is going on now is just about the same. Dangle some cash in front of these life markets, tell them to buy up AIG and other weak life markets and all is well with the world. What they would ever buy that line and risk their freedom and autonomy is beyond me, but it is going to be a real test of will to see if they avoid the temptation and stay independent.
The price of that money is too high for my taste.