December 19th, 2008

Week’s Top Stories: Dec 13 - 19, 2008

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

Climate Change: A Debate Reshapes (Re)insurance: The climate change debate is likely to continue unabated well into the future. Even if it is not settled anytime soon, the debate itself has already begun to affect the (re)insurance industry.

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Reinsurance Pricing and the Changing Cost of Capital: Despite the ambiguity pervading financial and reinsurance markets, it is clear that systemic risk has increased. Unprecedented chaos in financial markets left investors more risk-averse than they were at the end of the summer.

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The Adverse Development Super-Catastrophe: Property catastrophes make the news. Tangible and visual, the carnage can be conveyed with ease, and all can grasp the direct implications immediately.

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A Most Unusual Renewal: The imminent renewal is likely to be the most unusual in recent memory. The (re)insurance industry remains entangled in a global financial catastrophe, which makes any effort at forecasting the exact outcome very difficult.

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Financial Catastrophe Hits Japan, Net Income Off 67 Percent: A sagging economy has pushed non-life insurer earnings lower in Japan. After-tax net income for the seven largest companies dropped 67.1 percent for the first half of fiscal year 2008 (April 1, 2008 to September 30, 2008) relative to the same period in 2007-after adjustments for contingency reserve movements.

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And, you may have missed …

Book Value Update, Dec 15, 2008: Book values ticked higher last week, as both the Guy Carpenter Global Composite and the S&P Banks Index showed signs of renewed hope. Gains were slight, but they emphasize the trend toward stability.

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