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Mar 15, 2008 11:24 pm

I thought some of you might find this interesting and, unfortunately, very relevant. When the "AAA" subprime mess hit, I worried about the effect on insurance companies, since they own a lot of "AAA"-rated stuff. Well, this might be "the other shoe soon to drop":

March 11 – Bloomberg (Mark Pittman):  “Even after downgrading almost 10,000 subprime-mortgage bonds, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s… haven’t cut the ones that matter most: AAA securities that are the mainstays of bank and insurance company investments.  None of the 80 AAA securities in ABX indexes that track subprime bonds meet the criteria S&P had even before it toughened ratings standards in February, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A bond sold by Deutsche Bank AG in May 2006 is AAA at both companies even though 43% of the underlying mortgages are delinquent.  Sticking to the rules would strip at least $120 billion in bonds of their AAA status…. ‘The fact that they’ve kept those ratings where they are is laughable,’ said Kyle Bass, chief executive officer of Hayman Capital Partners… ‘Downgrades of AAA and AA bonds are imminent, and they’re going to be significant.’”   As far as Fixed and Variable Annuities, the insurance company(ies) offering the best rates and/or features may not be able to adhere to the terms of the policy 12 months from now.   My apologies, my computer or this website is malfunctioning. The black, bold type is the snippet from the article. The blue, bold type is my comments.