The ability to coast through school and succeed solely on an ability to be good at exams should be a fundamental human right.

Where you at?

Covid 19 decision finding coverageWe have received a few requests from carriers and MGAs for a list of members who have created a new EU entity to provide a solution to handling contracts with an EU policyholder and an EU risk after the end of the transition period on 31st December.  Now, despite having discussed plans with many of you, we do not have a definitive list.  And I suppose there is just the possibility that some of you might have gone off and done all this on your own without coming to talk to us.  Which would be shocking and, you know, a little bit hurtful.  But no matter.  I’ll get over it.

But having a such a list would be helpful.  We would share it with individual carriers that asked and with IUA and LMA.  Also, so long as it makes you all look good – which I have no doubt it will – we would use aggregated data for a news story on how well prepared LIIBA members are for Brexit, doing the right thing by your clients etc.  So if you could let me know the following that would be really helpful:

  1. If you have set up a new EU entity (or are planning to do so) where it is (including those of you cosying up to an existing EU broker)
  2. The full name of the entity

If you answer by hitting reply all to this email, we will take it from there.  Thank you in advance.

That was Lucky

We have touched before in these pages on the crazy antics of Alexander “Lucky” Lukashenko the 25 year president of Belarus.  And he has been at it again this week by announcing some frankly laughable election results.  Lucky has decided that he was resoundingly re-elected with 80% of the vote.  This is despite no single Belarusian knowing anybody who voted for him.

I mean you really ought to start looking at yourself when the list of people who congratulated you on your victory includes Xi, Putin, Erdogan and Maduro but not, say, Merkel, Macron, Johnson or Trump.  And if you get the thumbs up from every stan but not Pakistan it does beg questions about your plausibility.

I think Lucky’s problem is he picked the wrong number.  80% is both too big to be believable and too small to be dismissive.  Look at other masters of the election rigging genre.  The world’s leading Simon and Garfunkel hater, Hastings Banda, would routinely win Malawian referendums with something like 99.5% of the vote.  Which is like basically staring you in the eye and daring you to say something.  My personal favourite, Daniel Ortega, landed on 72% the last time he got the dice out in 2016.  Which is remarkable for a man whose entire political career has demonstrated his ability to command the support of between 35% – 38% of the Nicaraguan people but never any more or any less.  But he had handled the financial crisis rather well (with lots of help from his friends Hugo and Nicolas from Caracas) so sort of just about didn’t feel outrageous.  Evo Morales however went too low.  He claimed about 49%, playing the “I am 10% ahead and don’t have to hold a run off” card.  And relying on the minutiae of the rules is just not a good look for the aspiring tyrant.

So I think Lucky needs to go back to fraud school.  But you have to question whether, this far into his career, he has it in him to improve?  And we may never get to find out if the Belarusians follow the example of their Bolivian brethren – a country that has now enjoyed 193 coups, revolutions or attempted coups or revolutions in its 195 year history of independence.

TOBA or not TOBA

Speaking of institutions under threat, Lloyd’s has asked me to remind you of the need to sign the new TOBAs with its Brussels subsidiary if you want to carry on trading with it.  These were circulated a while back and we have held sessions to discuss the detail.  But if you have any questions, Keith Stern is the first port of call.

Insurer Missery

After a string of court victories for US carriers in disputed BI cases, the District Court for the Western District of Missouri Southern Section has ruled for a collection of businesses.  The judge determines that the claimants have established a physical loss and that this is distinct from physical damage and the policy covers both.  Whether this will represent a turning of the tide we shall see – and even this judgement has several layers to go.  But an interesting development – judgement attached.

What a shower

Joe Biden has shown his love for the Kaman people with his vice presidential candidate pick. But his opponent, President Trump, is engaged in a whole lot more serious a campaign.  The Donald is worried about water pressure in showers and whether it provides for the optimal hair wash.

So much to enjoy here, but let us focus on a couple.  Firstly his statement: “[b]ecause my hair – I don’t know about you, but it has to be perfect” is a statement in the Hastings Banda class for audacity.  I mean, lordy, what would imperfect hair look like in this context?  And who knew he washed it and didn’t have it piped on fresh each morning.

And then there is this.  This is a man with a well known reputation for only eating McDonalds (although CIAB’s Joel Kopperud, based on some excellent inside knowledge, tells me this is just a front, but that would be inconvenient so I am going to ignore it).  And if all you eat is McDonalds, I can see intestinal issues might be a worry.  But “flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once”???  Get that man to a doctor.

Time, once again, to remind myself that only just over a year ago I was in Managua and it was also 35 degrees.  And the locals were wearing coats.