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Former AIG CEO Robert Benmosche Has Died At 70


Former AIG CEO Robert Benmosche Has Died At 70

Robert Benmosche, a former CEO and president of insurance giant AIG, has died at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York. The company announced his passing in a statement Friday afternoon. Benmosche, who was 70, had been in treatment for lung cancer since 2010.

He came to AIG in August 2009, after the troubled company took $182 billion in bailout loans from the Federal Reserve in the midst of the financial crisis. He presided over a steady turnaround at the company, which made its final repayment to the government in 2013.

Benmosche divulged that he had cancer in 2010 but made public assurances that his treatments were successful. But by the time he stepped down from AIG in 2014, his health had deteriorated dramatically.

In a statement from AIG, board Chairman Robert S. Miller said, "Bob was one of the most inspirational and successful leaders in corporate America by any measure."

Morgan Stanley To Pay $2.6B To Settle Charges Of Selling Troubled Mortgages Leading Up To The Financial ...


Morgan Stanley To Pay $2.6B To Settle Charges Of Selling Troubled Mortgages Leading Up To The Financial Crisis - Consumerist



The Department of Justice has struck a multi-billion dollar deal with Morgan Stanley in what is expected to be one of the last major steps in resolving investigations related to banks' roles in the subprime mortgage crisis.

The New York Times DealBook reports that Morgan Stanley will pay $2.6 billion to settle a Justice Dept. investigation into the bank's sale of securities backed by troubled mortgages.

Morgan Stanley's deal comes after other large banks made similar settlements last year. Bank of America agreed to pay a record $16.7 billion, while Citi Group agreed to pay $7 billion. Back in 2013, JPMorgan Chase struck a deal for $13 billion.

According to DealBook, Morgan Stanley was responsible for a smaller volume of securities backed by troubled mortgages.

The settlement with Morgan Stanley centers on the bank's purchase of mortgages from New Century and other subprime mortgage originators. Morgan Stanley then packaged those mortgages into securities that it sold to investors.

A 2012 lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union provided emails and documents that showed Morgan Stanley executives knew about the low quality of loans when it purchased them.

Unlike settlements with Bank of America, Citi and JPMorgan, the deal with Morgan Stanley does not provide homeowner relieve, DealBook reports.

With Morgan Stanley's settlement now in the books, there is only one big bank holding out on reaching a settlement with the Dept. of Justice. Goldman Sachs, which is rumored to be in preliminary talks with regulators, has yet to reach an agreement to resolve its sale of troubled mortgages.

Morgan Stanley in $2.6 Billion Mortgage Settlement [The New York Times DealBook]

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Insured losses drop to 5-year low: Guy Carp


Now that it is so easy to obtain online quotes for just about any type of insurance, there is absolutely no reason to renew a policy before checking prices from the competition. Last year I bought my house cover after getting lots of quotes from a price comparison website. A week or two back I received a call from that insurance company saying that the renewal was imminent and that the price had only risen by a few pounds. When I answered that I wanted to check prices from some other companies online before renewing, the guy on the phone managed to find a quote some 20% cheaper than his original offer. Not to be outdone, I visited my trusty comparison site and managed to get precisely the same cover for a further 20% less than his lowest quote. Let me say once more...NEVER Never never renew any insurance before checking other insurers online. All of the insurers offer low prices for new customers, so take advantage of this and switch insurers whenever you can get a better price for equivalent or better cover. Unless there is a very good reason to stay with your current insurer then don't fret over showing disloyalty to them, I guarantee that they won't show any loyalty to you if you're in the unfortunate position of having to make a claim!. The following link has UK Car Insurance Policy Add-Ons

Jenny Messenger 25 February 2015

Insured losses were at the lowest level last year since 2009, according to Guy Carpenter's annual Global Catastrophe Review, released today (25 February).

Significant losses totalled $33bn, a steep drop from 2011's historic high of $126bn, the broker said.

"Although insured losses for 2014 were among the lowest recorded in years, we still observed powerful impacts and significant losses from both natural and man-made catastrophes," commented James Waller, research meteorologist at GC Analytics.

Notable insured losses included the February snowstorms...

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Commitment Shown to bTB Eradication Strategy


UK - Culling of badgers in two pilot areas of the UK to help eradicate Bovine TB is starting to show signs of success.

In the pilot area of Somerset, incidence of bTB have been reduced from 34 per cent to 11 per cent compared to two years ago.

And vets in Gloucestershire are also reporting a reduction in TB in cattle.

The success of the culling of badgers could see the scheme rolled out to other areas in the UK possibly as soon as this year.

Speaking at the National Framers' Union conference in Birmingham, NFU president Meurig Raymond said that the latest figures nationwide show that the situation on bTB has not been getting worse but over the last year 28,000 cattle had to be slaughtered because of the disease.

"Not getting worse is not good enough for those many farmers suffering the consequences of the disease," he said.

"It's not good enough for those in the areas where it is still spreading."

Mr Raymond welcomed the current government strategy which sees a mixture of movement controls, vaccination in areas on the edge of hot spots and culling cattle where necessary.

He said the strategy has the backing of the farming community and the European Commission and is being helped with EU funds.

He called on all the political parties in the UK not to turn back on the policy which he said is working.

Agriculture secretary Liz Truss said that the 25 year strategy had worked in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.

"We will not let up, whatever complaints we get from protest groups," she said.

"We're in it for the long haul. We will not walk away."

A juicy, well cooked steak complete with some button mushrooms and a few chips, a jacket potato or a green salad must surely be the food of the Gods!. With supermarkets replacing traditional butchers shops, the choice of cuts of beef and other meats has become increasingly restricted. Thankfully online butchers shop are filling the gaps left by the original shops and they are even competitive against supermarket prices. The following link will be of interest to all steak lovers Online Butcher

Top image via Shutterstock

2022 Qatar Winter World Cup: How Might Leagues Adjust Their Schedules?


2022 Qatar Winter World Cup: How Might Leagues Adjust Their Schedules? | The Big Lead


Since that fateful day in 2011 when FIFA decided to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, everything that's emanated from that future tournament has been nothing short of awful. From the seemingly corrupt bidding process, to the unabashed use of modern-day slave labor, to wide-spread intolerance, to the fact it's well over 100 degrees during the summer months in Qatar, the tournament is looked at with jaundiced eyes by Americans.

The final turd in the 2022 punch bowl appears to be ready to drop, with FIFA's task force all but assuring the tournament will be moved from the summer months to November-December, which confirm Grant Wahl's report from last week. Maybe, just maybe, people in position of power within the FIFA bureaucracy are so blind to their own ignorance that they truly didn't realize a World Cup staged in the summer months in the desert was a bad idea.

They didn't realize it was ridiculously warm in Qatar during June in July, as they were blinded staring at all the diamonds encrusted on a $30,000 gift watch.

Bar a last minute change of heart or a total rebellion by leading European club leagues, the winter World Cup is going to happen. English FA chairman Greg Dyke gave the decision a ringing endorsement, calling it, "the best of the bad options." FIFA floated the idea of beginning the 2022 tournament on Nov. 19 and running through Dec. 23. The final could also be staged on Dec. 18 because, god forbid, something interrupts the most sacred day on the soccer calendar -- England's Boxing Day fixtures. (Let's make the assumption England won't be participating in the final or third place game, so it's players will be available for their respective clubs.)

Long story short, moving the tournament to the fall/winter is going to be a massive cluster%#&@$! across the world of club soccer. The good news is we'll have seven years to figure out how to salvage the 2022/2022-23 club seasons and the temperatures in Qatar should only be in the mid-80s. The bad news? Given what we know about the people running soccer the ensuing seven years will likely consist of petty bickering -- the top European clubs already want compensation for moving their schedules -- than sound, reasonable solutions.

For comparison, the 2014 World Cup ran from June 12-July 13. Most National Teams involved had a solid three weeks to a month to prepare ahead of the tournament, through training and pre-World Cup friendlies. The 2013-14 English Premier League season, as an example, ended on May 11 (it began on August 17). The Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid took place on May 24.

At minimum we'll see almost all European leagues start earlier, either at the beginning of August or late July. This will impact the previous season, as well. Chances are, we'll see play resume across most leagues during the final week of the 2022 World Cup when only four teams are remaining. This is an imperfect solution, but club teams impacted will have to live with it.

Let's take a look at some pertinent leagues affected by a winter World Cup:


Predicting what MLS will look like in seven year's time is a fool's errand. As much as Jurgen Klinsmann wants it, odds are MLS will not have shifted to a European calendar and will still run from March to early December, when the playoffs conclude. The 2015 MLS regular season runs through October. Last summer MLS didn't break and played through the World Cup. Given the trend of U.S. internationals coming back to MLS, odds are the league isn't going to want to contest its players concurrently with the World Cup for numerous reasons, so adjustments will need to be made, such as starting the 2022 season in February or playing more than once a week so the regular season is over by the end of September.

Who knows what the landscape of MLS or the USMNT will look like in 2022, but a World Cup after the season will either mean American players are worn out and fatigued or game-ready.



There's no way the EPL can run at the same time as the World Cup, unless clubs decide to collectively field reserve teams -- English clubs provided the most players to the 2014 World Cup with 119. Unlike the rest of Europe, England ratchets up the amount of games around the Christmas/New Year's holidays (TV C.R.E.A.M., duh). The EPL will likely start closer to Aug 1. and run later into May or June to accommodate the World Cup, but would you put it past the powers that be running the WORLD'S MOST POPULAR LEAGUE to try to cram in those holiday fixtures right after the World Cup?

Continental European Leagues

Most European leagues will have a little more wiggle room to manipulate their schedules due to built-in winter breaks. For instance Italy's Serie A was off for about two weeks from Dec. 19-Jan. 5. The German Bundesliga takes off in late December and doesn't resume until late January. There's time on the schedule to accommodate the World Cup, but that means playing games in less than ideal conditions. It would definitely be odd for a player to go to Qatar and play for 2-3 weeks in 85+ degree weather and come back to his club team in Germany when it's barely above freezing.

UEFA Champions League

Qualifying for the 2022-23 Champions League probably now has to start in June, right after the club season ends. This year's group stage ran from Sept. 16 to Dec. 10 and didn't resume until Feb. 17 for the knockout rounds. Moving the group stage up to August isn't a terrible solution. The question is going to be, what happens to the best players from the World Cup who presumably play at the best European club teams. These elite players are playing in 5+ games at the World Cup (some that could go 120 minutes) over a short period, then the club season resumes and they're back to the Champions League shortly after that? We can laugh, but FIFA may need to compensate the clubs or help pick up insurance tabs because high-level players are going to be ground to a pulp with this scheduling change.


The January 2023 transfer window will be insane, since we won't get the tradition post-World Cup summer spending spree. ... One potential positive of a winter World Cup is European-based players will be healthier during the tournament, as mentioned above their fitness post-World Cup when the club season resumes could get ugly. ... We're seven full years away from the tournament and this Wikipedia page of 2022 controversies is already thousands of words in length. Great job, everybody!

RELATED: Qatar 2022 World Cup Move To November Is "Done Deal" Per Report

[Photos via Getty]

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