I just came across a Huffington Post article written by someone running for office who just discovered that life settlements didn’t go away in the 1980’s.
She was mortified to learn that their city retirement investment pool included what she called “death bonds”. She would probably be even more mortified to know that life settlements or viaticals or whatever name you want to use, “death bonds”, are far more pervasive than she apparently thinks. She apparently thinks that life settlements are only done with those that are terminally ill.
The truth is that the terminally ill are more likely to hang on to their policies. The larger market is those people who want to make money from a place where no money should be made. They want to monetize and sell stock in their own lives. The larger market is made up of greedy people served by greedier agents trying to bend all of the good things about life insurance to meet their own agenda.
But the politician almost makes a good point when she ponders “This asks the question: will corporate America use political influence to delay the development and spread of new treatments that might save lives, but cut profits?”
I’ll go one quicker and more morbid than that? Do you suppose there are large corporations that own these policies who would go so far as to pay unemployed folks $500 or $1000 to whack some of these million dollar checks waiting to be cashed? Cash flows quicker and you don’t have to wait on politics!
It’s like the whole world woke up this week and decided there’s a beast on the horizon and we should all look out for it. What they seem to have missed is that the beast has been here for a long time, it is huge and may already be too big to slay. Reuters and the New York Times both had articles expressing concern over the life settlement market and how these sick investments are being bundled into funds. What the hell has our country come to?
Bottom line. The fact that these products are being bundled into funds speaks to the size of the sick practice. The fact that anyone is actually recommending funds that include this type of shady practice is just so 2009 American. What we’ll do if we think there is a buck to be made would make all of our grandparents roll over in their graves.