On the asset front, the majority of insurers and reinsurers have reported minimal direct exposure to mortgage-backed securities, while a few large global players have reported losses in the USD billions. Indirectly, the weak economy, compounded by fears of global financial collapse, is leading to a bear market in equities. This is putting pressure on reinsurer finances. Given the standard definition of a bear market as a 20 percent decline in price, both France and Germany are experiencing bear market conditions, which are also reflected in the UK FTSE 1000.
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