1991 0509 - GOV - Insurance Company Insolvencies

Senator BRYAN.

  • You think so. And can you tell us how widespread that is likely to be?
    • Because although some have tried to say, "Well, you know, the Congress is just trying to get itself involved in another area.” 
  • When you see this kind of a report and other comments which are made in financial journals, not by those who hold public office, and you look back over the decade and I must say I consider myself very lucky...
    • I was not here in Washing ton in the 1980's.
    • I was very fortunate from my perspective.
  • I must say that there is kind of this blurred impression that in the 1980's, folks from the savings and loan industry were saying, "Hey, there is some isolated problems, no need to get involved."
  • We all know how that story came out.

A year ago, I happened to serve on the Banking Committee as well.

  • We were told, look, that that fund is fine, that we are not going to need any Federal bailout.
  • Today I attended a hearing in which representatives of the industry, the independent banking association, the ABA , the major trade associations, if you were lining up, you know, a $10 billion plus loan to in effect recapitalize the system.
  • That ultimately, as you well know, Mr. Sutton <ACLI / Pacific Life>, means you and I, the taxpayers, all of us collectively.

And so when we hear these assurances it is not that we impugn your integrity, but I must say that there is a hope that
you are right- because that is the last thing the country needs or this Congress needs to deal with.

But give us a little bit more of your sense.

  • How widespread is the problem out there?

And what levels of failure are we likely to see under the reasonable parameters, as opposed to the most Draconian, you know, a complete economic collapse?

1991 Insurance Company Insolvencies

Senator BRYAN.

  • Is the concept of a disclosure offensive to you, assuming that you could get a disclosure that is not so highly technical as to be actually meaningless?
  • But I mean, is the concept of full disclosure at the point of sale, assuming that you could get something that is more understandable than the complexities might permit it to be?
  • You can be so complex that nobody is going to read it, and those that do --

Mr. SUTTON <Pacific Life / ACLI>:

  • My personal opinion is that I would not have any problem with a kind of disclosure that could be communicated simply, but was based on extensive analysis by someone capable of
    making the appropriate analysis.
  • I would not like a simplistic disclosure that could cause great dislocation because it did not recognize all of the factors in what is, in fact, a very complicated business. (p280)

1991 - GOV - Insurance Company Solvency