Is it because people in Georgia typically only have three fingers that they are so slow at counting?

Calling the time for Trumpton?

Whilst we all sit around waiting for Cuthbert, Dibble and Grub to open some more envelopes and put them in the pile marked “Biden”, we should just take the time to look at the wider events of this week.  Firstly, it is worth remembering that the happenings of Tuesday onwards have very little relevance to the election of the next President.  That will happen when the electors to the Electoral College convene in their respective states (and the District of Columbia) to cast their votes.  This happens on “the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December” – which is one of a myriad of superbly complex rules that you can enjoy in full here.  A special shout out to the rival pieces of legislation aimed at extending the deadlines in order to resolve possible challenges (it is almost as if some people saw this coming).  That put forward by Senator Marco Rubio would change the date of the Electoral College meeting to 2nd January.  But the rival bill put forward in the House by Rep David E Price rejects that notion and proposes that the Electoral College rather convene on “the first day after 1st January”.  Perhaps it is just me.

Whatever the day, it will be when the real fun starts.  Because, as this shows, there are about 30 states where it is perfectly possible for an Elector to cast their vote for somebody other than who they are supposed to with no comeback and no possibility of overturning that vote.  And it is the person who emerges victorious from the Electoral College vote who will be the next President regardless of who did what on Tuesday (and the many, many months beforehand when people trudged into early voting booths because, hey, why bother to listen to any arguments when you are never going to change your mind).  And there were ten so called “faithless electors” in 2016 when the result was relatively undisputed.  I bet they can’t get no sleep.

So, forget about what might happen in Arizona or Pennsylvania and the respective “paths to 270”.  The real path to victory involves horses heads in beds and kidnapping Electors’ kids.  And the truly terrifying thing about all of this is that does not really seem that wildly an implausible suggestion to be making.  As the Donald always goes by his sacred creed WWTSD – what would Tony Soprano do.

Also, of course, as the Democrats have failed to flip the Senate, the identity of the most prominent resident on Pennsylvania Avenue is largely irrelevant.

Back on her Hobbsy horse

In which the valiant Jackie strains every sinew to bring it back to insurance.  No, don’t boo.  That is not nice.

  1. Covid clause (property) The LMA has updated the Lloyd’s Wordings Repository to state the intended territory for LMA 5393 is Worldwide excluding UK territory, and have included an associated reference to LMA 5393, whose intended usage is for the UK territory. As always, these are model wordings. LIIBA continues to engage with both the LMA and IUA on related clause detail – including, given the impending season, Santa Clause.
  2. Discussions with the LMA and LIC SA continue on bulking lineslip (the woman is utterly obsessed) requirements effective 1st January. A review of specific data requirements is being undertaken to ensure only information that is mandatory / conditionally mandatory will be requested. Further market communications detailing at what point the detail needs to be provided, with options noting who and how this can be achieved is expected shortly, along with amended wordings.
  3. Some progress has been made this week on the DDM (a man and two donkeys?) end user licence agreement and further detail regarding this will follow soon for those brokers wishing to sign up.
  4. HMRC has this week published its consultation on IPT, with responses required by 5th February 2021. LIIBA’s Tax Working Party (TWP) is reviewing and further information on this will be advised in due course. Additionally, the TWP is reviewing recently released HMRC User Guide on DAC6 and will be producing a summary guide about the detail here soon. Finally, the TWP is engaging with BIPAR on an EU review of VAT on Financial Services and Insurance.  No need to spice this bit up, its on fire.
  5. We continue discussions with Lloyd’s on its Part VII transfer. We have been advised an update to the Market Design Document (6.1) is expected to be published imminently. Also, Lloyd’s is contacting brokers with regards to communicating with coverholders on the transferring status of binders where there are still bordereaux being received. The expectation is that brokers will advise coverholders of any required updates but if this is not possible, Lloyd’s will assist where requested (details regarding this to be issued shortly).  I thought the transfer window was shut.
  6. We will be holding a seminar on claims early next month to update members on various initiatives, which in addition to the Future at Lloyd’s will include detail being conducted by LIIBA’s Claims Operations Liaison Group (COLG) and DA Claims Committee (DACC). This includes cross market work to increase usage of SCAP, moving towards removal of all paper claim files, static claims and MA adoption of the DA Claim Standards.  Does anybody think SCAP would be more successful if it didn’t have such a terrible name?  Just askin’

She concludes “[t]here is more but don’t want to bore people too much” <embarrassed emoji>.  And in the interests of staff morale, I will leave it there.

Ahead of the game

The publication this week of Blueprint 2 was a further reminder of the possibilities open to us by embracing the use of sophisticated technology.  Streamlined processes, wider market reach, lightning speed client service.  All are possible as we march into the brave new world.  As is paying £10 to spend two hours watching the back of the linesman’s head because the artificial “intelligence” camera cannot tell it apart from the ball.  So, arguably, we still have some way to go.

The camera company have promised to resolve the issue before the next game.  And if it is anything like normal IT projects that we have all been privy to this will involve buying the linesman a toupee as a workaround before failing to fix the bug in the next release.  If only Ernie Wise was still with us to officiate.

A super vision

FCA has sent a “Dear CEO” letter setting out its supervisory strategy for our sector for the next twelve months.  Let us get the important point out of the way first.  Views on whether a letter that is addressed impersonally (“Dear CEO”) should really conclude “yours faithfully” and not “sincerely” as FCA has plumped for?

Elsewhere, the gist of their key priorities is as follows.

  1. Try not to go bankrupt but, if you are going to, tell them first.
  2. Implement SMCR.
  3. Do something about culture.
  4. A slightly irrelevant one about distribution chains which is more of an issue in UK retail markets.

Also, don’t get cyber hacked and do something to prepare for the end of the Brexit implementation period.  Which you all have done anyway…

More going on

When it started in March it was a bit of a curiosity that nobody really understood.  But gradually we realised the significance of what was going on.  And every available news outlet picked up on this and more and more they focussed coverage until, seemingly, you could not turn on the television nor open a newspaper without being confronted with blanket wall to wall coverage.

But then, as we headed into summer, we seemed to pass the peak.  And as we did other stories emerged to fill the vacuum and we almost reached a stage where nobody talked about it anymore.  But many thought that could not last.  And we came to realise that the second wave was with us and it might be more pervasive than the first.

Yes, Captain Tom is back with a new campaign called “Walk with Tom” (can Rory Stewart sue?) aimed at combatting loneliness.  Which is a lovely and very worthwhile thing to do and I really should not mock it because that would be wrong.  But it is also quite tempting.  So, whilst in no way denigrating the central purpose, can we also recognise that a secondary agenda here is the personal promotion of his daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore.  I mean, look at the undisguised glee with which she describes being recognised in the supermarket.  And the timing cannot be coincidental.  She has seemingly missed out on the cast of I’m a Celebrity (no bad thing as three weeks with crushing hypothermia in a Durham castle with a fortnight in an isolation unit on quarantine to follow is not the normal gig).  But there may still be time to muscle in on Dancing on Ice.  So HI-M is back.  And this time she means business.

The grandchild is calling and he must go

And finally, heartfelt congratulations to friend of LIIBA and WTW’s finest John Muir on the birth of his first grandchild Aurora Violet (yeah, I know, but she does have the inheritance to look forward to).  There is circumstantial photographic evidence that John may have already dropped her.  And if he is allowed too much contact there is a strong danger her first word will be an expletive.  But it is still a fine sight.  Although, slightly disturbingly, John says “I am expecting a second grandchild in mid-January” – suggesting that the gestation period of a Muir is more canine than elephantine.  But well done!

I am off to vote Kanye 7 million times by post in Arizona.  COUNT ALL VOTES!