Thursday, November 29, 2007

Reveling in the random

Today is the last day of class! That means that finals are rapidly approaching and I am woefully short on time for all the things I need to be doing. But in the past couple days I've come across a few headlines that sparked my interest; here they are for anyone else looking to waste some of the time they don't have.

Investing in death
Tuesday's WP had an article about rich people selling their life insurance policies to investors for cash. I had no idea you could do that, but I guess the glory of capitalism is that you can do pretty much anything you want to make a profit. Basically, you can buy life insurance as you'd normally do, and then you can sell that policy to a settlement firm for a lump sum. The sum will be less than what you'd get if you died, but more than what you'd get if you settled with the insurance company. The firm takes over the premium payments and gets the benefits when you die. The firm has investors who get paid some percentage of the annual return of the death benefit. It seems like a good situation for everyone except the life insurance company: because more than 80% of life insurance policies lapse, insurance companies set lower rates. If more people sell their policies to investors likely to hold on to them and collect, the theory goes, insurance costs will go up for everyone. This isn't a new thing: people with HIV have been selling their life insurance (called viatical settlements) since the '80s, and BusinessWeek reported on this issue in 2005. even has a FAQ page on the process. For better or worse, the WP article is stacked with quotes from the life insurance industry. (Hat tip: the guy sitting in front of me on the metro, over whose shoulder I was covertly reading.)

Barry Bonds Watch continues
Three links over at How Appealing.

I am not alone...
The ABA Journal selected the 100 best websites by lawyers for lawyers, and has a category for JDs in training. Obviously I am not on that list. But the five blogs are worth checking out:
Nuts & Boalts
Overheard in Law School
The Frugal Law Student
There's No Competition in Law School
Transnational Law Blog
You can vote for your favorites in any category, so head on over and make your voice heard! (Hat tip: Concurring Opinions.)

I'll try to be posterrific during my moments of procrastination over the next couple of weeks, so check back often.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link! This is my first visit to your blog and it won't be the last. Good luck with law school!


Anonymous said...

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Thank you again.

Insurance information for good ideas.