Friday, June 26, 2009

To Have and To Hold Until Life Insurance Do Us Part

I was delighted to learn from today’s Wall Street Journal that next Tuesday, at AIG’s annual meeting, the U.S. taxpayers will be represented as they are now the largest shareholders. As a taxpayer, I surveyed my mail and found that apparently my proxy statement must have been lost by the U.S. Postal Service so I’m writing to ask the rest of you to “Vote No” to the board and its plans. Here’s why.

In what is clearly a Ponzi scheme by any definition, the Fed is about to receive, unless interrupted by shareholders “bonds valued at up to $8.5 billion backed by life-insurance policies, which could cut the Fed debt,” according to the WSJ and corporate statements. The Fed, for all of our benefit is NOT an organization which benefits the U.S. taxpayer and placing life insurance annuities into the Fed’s hands is an extremely bad idea. The Federal Reserve does not have any business benefitting from life insurance annuities and income ahead of the taxpayers. And, equally challenging, those beneficiaries who have policies which now are being leveraged to manage AIG’s balance sheet, my not be excited to know that the liquidity that is called upon at death is now leveraged by an insolvent financial institution which hasn’t been able to manage hundreds of billions of dollars that have been minted by the Treasury. Using funds from one investor to pay off another is the core of Ponzi scams and this one is epic in proportion. Come to think of it, if the three government trustees representing our interests want to have qualified expertise to execute their current plans, we should see about getting Bernie Madoff on the board candidate list and select R. Allen Sanford as an alternate.

It would be a great idea to have all AIG life insurance policy holders and beneficiaries, to look carefully at their contracts to see if they actually authorized the assignment of their funds for use in this fashion. Wouldn’t it be fun if the fine print – that nemesis of transparency – actually rendered AIG and U.S. government actions impossible or illegal? Wouldn’t it be fun if someone actually woke up and realized that the taxpayer’s interests are not only being overlooked but, more tragically, the fiduciary trust of life-insurance is now being gambled in a government sanctioned Ponzi scheme?

Like I said, I didn’t get my proxy statement. Maybe it was the failure of the postal system. Maybe it was because AIG doesn’t have me on their favorite shareholder list. During my frequent visits to 70 Pine St. in the financial district in Manhattan, I did not always leave having made the best impression when suggesting that accountability and collateral integrity had value. Regardless, I trust that the rest of you show up for the meeting and vote “no”.

After the vote, I hope that one person has the courage to stand up and ask for genuine accountability. In the $173 billion of “aid” (isn’t it nice to know that we’ve no longer even come to refer to this as “bailout” or “debt” but now refer to this in the same way we’d refer to providing AIDS or malaria treatments to our neighbors around the world?) we must have crossed some threshold where we as taxpayers and policy holders are entitled to have genuine accounting for this mess. Obama’s promise of transparency in government can no longer be squashed under the pejorative assumption that it’s too difficult to understand. Tell the truth. As I’ve written before, the pension exposure here is already toxic. Turning the contractual obligations on life insurance benefits over to the Fed is adding insult to injury.

In his up-coming book, The Twelve: 12.21.12 Time Is Running Out, William Gladstone concludes :

“Truth, integrity, and love are what will always matter most in life. The shift that is coming will highlight these simple values, which have been known throughout the ages. As a species and planet, we are facing huge challenges, but the first steps are to wake up to who you really are and wake up as many others as you can.”

Don’t hit the snooze button and go back to sleep. Wake up. Let your friends and colleagues know that the paradigms of contract, public accountability, vows, and trusts all need to be invited into the agora and need to be reclaimed so that commitments made for life are honored.

I will be off-line for the coming week as our family – Colleen, Kate, and Zach and I – partner with 25 others in Reynosa Mexico where we’ll be building houses with our dear friends who work to provide shelter for the displaced homeless in this land of NAFTA’s nightmare. I am deeply grateful to many of you who have contributed to allow us to take the largest group we’ve ever led. The houses and roofs that we build will have your spirit in every sweat soaked line of mortar. While we sweat under the sweltering sun, I trust that you will celebrate a new form of Independence on July 4th. Rather than toasting an event of tax revolt and violence – I trust that you will find ways to share in celebrations of independence from the consensus and tyranny of greed and fear and do so with dependent and interdependent communities wherever you find yourself.


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1 comment:

  1. If freedom is going to rule the day (and not just this Holiday weekend), then more voices like yours will need greater audiences.

    You are correct to warn others of the very dangerous Federal Reserve, that vampire of an institution that has almost sucked the blood of this once-great Republic dry.

    May wise and collected heads prevail when the masses finally wake up to the treachery the Fed has unleashed, that is, if there is any life left in us at all!


Thank you for your comment. I look forward to considering this in the expanding dialogue. Dave