We've talked a lot about the so-called Volcker Rule. I've called it a "cop-out" and "joke" and tracked its bloated path from 300 pages to nearly 1,000.
Well, now it's here.
On Tuesday the rule was signed off on by the five regulatory bodies that will have to enforce it when it goes into effect in July 2015 (supposedly). And getting it done and approved was no small feat.
The Volcker Rule comes down to this: It stops banks and any other financial institutions that are backstopped by the U.S. Federal Reserve or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), generally speaking, taxpayers, from betting on their own behalf (proprietary or "prop" trading).
Don't get me wrong. I'm thrilled that the Volcker Rule passed. And I'll be thrilled when it goes into effect.
But everything is not as it seems.
Let me show you...The Volcker Rule: Two Major Flaws
First, what's not thrilling is that the five regulatory horsemen (make that pack mules), who have their own agendas and their own masters, who are supposed to enforce the Volcker Rule, will all have to use their own judgment and interpretation of the rule succinctly laid out in almost a thousand pages.
Hot Warren Buffett Stocks To Own For 2015: CNO Financial Group Inc. (CNO)
CNO Financial Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the development, marketing, and administration of health insurance, annuity, individual life insurance, and other insurance products for senior and middle-income markets in the United States. The company markets and distributes Medicare supplement insurance, interest-sensitive and traditional life insurance, fixed annuities, and long-term care insurance products; Medicare advantage plans through a distribution arrangement with Humana Inc.; and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans through a distribution and reinsurance arrangement with Coventry Health Care. It also markets and distributes supplemental health, including specified disease, accident, and hospital indemnity insurance products; and life insurance to middle-income consumers at home and the worksite through independent marketing organizations and insurance agencies. In addition, the company markets primarily graded benefit and simplified issue life insurance products directly to customers through television advertising, direct mail, Internet, and telemarketing. It sells its products through career agents, independent producers, direct marketing, and sales managers. CNO Financial Group, Inc. has strategic alliances with Coventry and Humana. The company was formerly known as Conseco, Inc. and changed its name to CNO Financial Group, Inc. in May 2010. CNO Financial Group, Inc. was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By David Fried, Editor, The Buyback Letter]
Insurance holding company CNO Financial Group (CNO) and its insurance subsidiaries��rincipally Bankers Life and Casualty Company, Washington National, and Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company��erve pre-retiree and retired Americans.
- [By Vanin Aegea]
I have heard many people comment about the insurance policies for cars, houses, life, assets, etc. The arguments always revolve around the same issue: Is it really necessary? What are the chances to be hit by a Hurricane, or to meet a sudden death? Well, nobody really knows. Some individuals however, sleep better when they know a policy backs their life investments. Here, I will look into three insurance companies that concentrate on different policies, or geographies. These are: China Life (LFC), and Conseco (CNO).
Top Insurance Stocks For 2014: Reinsurance Group of America Inc (RGA)
Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated (RGA) is an insurance holding company. RGA is engaged in the reinsurance of individual and group coverages for traditional life and health, longevity, disability income, annuity and critical illness products, and financial reinsurance. During the year ended December 31, 2011, approximately 65.8% of the Company�� net premiums were from its operations in North America, represented by its United States and Canada segments. Its subsidiaries include RGA Reinsurance Company (RGA Reinsurance), Reinsurance Company of Missouri, Incorporated (RCM), RGA Reinsurance Company (Barbados) Ltd. (RGA Barbados), RGA Americas Reinsurance Company, Ltd. (RGA Americas), RGA Atlantic Reinsurance Company, Ltd. (RGA Atlantic), RGA Life Reinsurance Company of Canada (RGA Canada), RGA Reinsurance Company of Australia, Limited (RGA Australia) and RGA International Reinsurance Company (RGA International). The Company has five geographic-based operational segments: United States, Canada, Europe & South Africa, Asia Pacific and Corporate and Other. On January 1, 2012, it dissolved its United Kingdom reinsurance subsidiary and transferred its business to RGA International, the Company�� Ireland-based subsidiary, to better manage capital resources.
As of December 31, 2011, the Company has operation in Australia, Barbados, Bermuda, People�� Republic of China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. The Company provides reinsurance products to the life insurance companies worldwide. The Company obtains its revenues through reinsurance agreements, which cover a portfolio of life and health insurance products, including term life, credit life, universal life, whole life, group life and health, joint and last survivor insurance, critical illness, disability income, as well as annuities and financial reinsurance.!
United States Operations
During 2011, the United States operations represented 54.4% of the Company�� net premiums. The United States operations market traditional life and health reinsurance, reinsurance of asset-intensive products, and financial reinsurance, primarily to the United States life insurance companies. The United States Traditional sub-segment provides life and health reinsurance to domestic clients for a range of products through yearly renewable term agreements, coinsurance, and modified coinsurance. Premiums vary for smokers and non-smokers, males and females, and may include a preferred underwriting class discount. Reinsurance premiums are paid in accordance with the treaty. Automatic reinsurance treaty provides that the ceding company will cede risks to a reinsurer on specified blocks of policies where the underlying policies meet the ceding company�� underwriting criteria. The United States facultative reinsurance operation involves the assessment of the risks inherent in multiple impairments, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes; cases involving policy face amounts, and financial risk cases, which include cases involving policies disproportionately in relation to the financial characteristics of the proposed insured. During 2011, approximately 20.4% of the United States gross premiums were written on a facultative basis.
During 2011, the Canada operations represented 11.4% of the Company�� net premiums. During 2011, approximately 85.2% of the recurring new business was written on an automatic basis. The Company operates in Canada through RGA Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary. RGA Canada is a life reinsurer in Canada, based on new individual life insurance production. It assists clients with capital management and mortality and morbidity risk management and is primarily engaged in traditional individual life reinsurance, as well as creditor, group life and health, critical illness, and longev! ity reins! urance. Creditor insurance covers the outstanding balance on personal, mortgage or commercial loans in the event of death, disability or critical illness and is shorter in duration than traditional life insurance. Clients include the life insurers in Canada.
Europe & South Africa Operations
During 2011, the Europe & South Africa operations represented 16.3% of the Company�� net premiums. This segment serves clients from subsidiaries, licensed branch offices and/or representative offices located in France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, Spain, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. These offices operate primarily through the Company�� subsidiaries RGA International and RGA South Africa. The principal types of reinsurance for this segment include life and health products through yearly renewable term and coinsurance agreements, the reinsurance of critical illness coverage, which provides a benefit in the event of the diagnosis of a pre-defined critical illness and the reinsurance of longevity risk related to payout annuities. The reinsurance agreements of critical illness coverage may be either facultative or automatic agreements. Premiums earned from critical illness coverage represented 20.5% of the total net premiums for this segment during 2011. During 2011, the United Kingdom operations generated approximately 62.9% of the segment�� gross premiums.
Asia Pacific Operations
During 2011, the Asia Pacific operations represented 17.8% of the Company�� net premiums. The Company has a presence in the Asia Pacific region with licensed branch offices and/or representative offices in Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, New Zealand, Labuan (Malaysia) and the People�� Republic of China. The principal types of reinsurance for this segment include life, critical illness, health, disability income, superannuation, and financial reinsurance. Superannuation is the Australian government mandated c! ompulsory! retirement savings program. Superannuation funds accumulate retirement funds for employees, and in addition, offer life and disability insurance coverage. Reinsurance agreements may be either facultative or automatic agreements covering primarily individual risks and, in some markets, group risks. During 2011, the Australian operations generated approximately 52.3% of the total gross premiums for the Asia Pacific operations. The Hong Kong, Labuan, Japan, Taiwan, China and South Korea offices provide full reinsurance services and are supported by the Company�� United States and International Division Sydney office.
Corporate and Other
Corporate and Other operations include investment income from invested assets not allocated to support segment operations and undeployed proceeds from the Company�� capital raising efforts, in addition to unallocated investment related gains or losses. Corporate expenses consist of the offset to capital charges allocated to the operating segments within the policy acquisition costs and other insurance expenses line item, unallocated overhead and executive costs, and interest expense related to debt. In additionally, Corporate and Other includes results from, among others, RGA Technology Partners, Inc. (RTP), a wholly owned subsidiary that develops and markets technology solutions for the insurance industry and the investment income and expense associated with the Company�� collateral finance facilities.
The Company competes with Munich Re, Swiss Re, Hannover Re, SCOR Global Re, Berkshire Hathaway and Generali.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By David Sterman]
My favorite insurers: AIG (NYSE: AIG) (which I discussed a few months ago), Protective Life (NYSE: PL) and Reinsurance Group of America (NYSE: RGA).
- [By Brian Pacampara]
What: Shares of life and health reinsurer Reinsurance Group of America (NYSE: RGA ) sank 10% today after its quarterly results disappointed Wall Street.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Although the next purchase was made to meet ownership guidelines, Reinsurance Group of America (RGA) still makes our cut after its EVP and head of international markets and operations Allan O’Bryant bought 6,500 shares for $423,100. This is his first purchase and InsiderScore notes that he owns over 30,000 in stock appreciation rights and adds, ��VPs are expected to own between 5,000-21,000 shares depending on “grade level of position.” O’Bryant is due to receive a base salary of $456,200 this year and is eligible to receive a 2013 bonus between 40% (minimum) and 160% (maximum) of his salary.��/p>
- [By Brian Pacampara]
Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, life and health reinsurer Reinsurance Group of America (NYSE: RGA ) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.
Top Insurance Stocks For 2014: Tryg A/S (TRYG)Tryg A/S, formerly TrygVesta A/S, is a Denmark-based insurance company. It is the parent company within the Tryg Group, which supplies insurance services in the Nordic countries. The Company is organized in four business areas, namely Private, Commercial, Industry and Sweden. Private sells insurance products to private individuals in Denmark and Norway. Commercial sells insurance products to small and medium-sized companies in Denmark and Norway. Industry sells insurance products to industrial customers under the Tryg brand in Denmark and Norway and the Moderna brand in Sweden. Sweden sells insurance products to private individuals in Sweden under the Moderna brand name. As of December 31, 2012, the Company had one wholly owned subsidiary, Tryg Forsikring A/S. On May 1, 2013, it sold its Finnish branch. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Sofia Horta e Costa]
Commodity producers slid as the release fueled concern about the slowdown in the world�� second-biggest economy. Burberry Group Plc (BRBY) gained 4.8 percent after the company�� spring-summer collection helped increase retail sales in its fiscal first quarter by more than analysts had estimated. Tryg A/S (TRYG) added 3.3 percent after posting better-than-forecast pretax profit as cost cuts offset increased weather-related claims.
Top Insurance Stocks For 2014: Euler Hermes SA (ELE)Euler Hermes SA is a France-based credit insurance company. It offers a range of services, including loan assurance, risk assessment, trade debt collection, compensation of losses due to buyer insolvency, bonding and guarantees for companies, reinsurance of loans to individuals and fidelity insurance covering companies against financial loss caused by fraudulent acts. It operates a number of subsidiaries, including Euler Hermes SFAC, Euler Hermes ACI Holding Inc., Euler Hermes Reinsurance AG, among others. On January 1, 2012, the Company completed the simplification of its legal structure in Europe by grouping 13 of its former subsidiaries into one insurance company, Euler Hermes Europe, located in Brussels. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Sarah Jones]
Iberdrola SA (IBE), Spain�� biggest power company, fell 3.4 percent to 3.87 euros. Endesa SA (ELE) slumped 4.6 percent to 16 euros, while Acciona SA (ANA), which owns more than 4 gigawatts of wind farms in the country, tumbled 8.5 percent to 37.95 euros. Red Electrica Corp. slid 7.5 percent to 38.34 euros.