New York Plans To Opt Out Of New Insurance Rules

Weiner, Spitzer out: Thank you New York

John Avlon

Competing for a potential runoff slot is former New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson with 26 percent of the vote. The winner of the Democratic race will face Joe Lhota, a former deputy mayor to Rudolph Giuliani and former chairman of the N.Y. Metropolitan Transit Agency who won the G.O.P primary. Three quarters of voters said they had a negative impression of Weiner, according to exit polls. Spitzer, another former politico who resigned in disgrace, sought to recover from the prostitution scandal that ended his once-promising career as governor by being elected the city’s comptroller. Hours after polls closed, Stringer was declared the winner of the NYC comptroller primary. Spitzer took 48 percent of the vote to Stringer’s 52 percent. De Blasio’s rise in the polls was fueled by the fall of Weiner, whose campaign imploded after it was revealed that he continued having inappropriate sexual relationships with women online, even after resigning from Congress in disgrace for similar behavior in 2011. The fluid mayoral contest to replace the longstanding mayor, Michael Bloomberg, featured five candidates all fighting to define New York City’s post-Bloomberg era. De Blasio’s early lead in exit polling came after early polls in July showed him near the bottom of the pack of candidates, which in addition to Quinn, Weiner and Thompson, featured current New York City Comptroller John Liu. De Blasio, backed by progressive Democrats, pitched himself as a fierce opponent of Bloomberg’s policies — including one of the most controversial, the “stop-and-frisk” policy in which city officers were encouraged to proactively stop and interrogate anyone suspected of criminal behavior.

New York Tobacco Debt Boosted by Arbitrator Ruling, Larkin Says

A series of scandal-scarred candidates sucked up the oxygen amid an otherwise forgettable field. And for a while, Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer seemed likely to win their respective races on the strength of name ID and notoriety. If successful, their candidacies could have compounded the cynicism that surrounds politics in an era where too few leaders feel the obligation to hold themselves to a higher standard. But when it was discovered that Weiner had been a recidivist sexter — under the quintessentially creepy nom de guerre “Carlos Danger” — something heartening happened: Common sense kicked in. Weiner plummeted from first to fourth in the Democratic primary polls, with much of his support shifting to the aggressively progressive Public Advocate Bill De Blasio, who rose to pole position aided by powerful ads featuring his biracial son, Dante de Blasio, and a campaign theme focusing on inequality. Anthony Weiner campaign’s final days Likewise, Spitzer’s last-minute entrance into the obscure city comptroller’s race initially injected that campaign with a shot of adrenaline. The former state attorney general and governor had derailed a meteoric rise with ill-advised dalliances with hookers during a stormy tenure in Albany. Instant infamy was followed by a long slog for redemption, punctuated by a brief tenure as a cable news host on CNN and Current TV. But the brilliant, ambitious Spitzer was always aiming for a return to political power, and he saw the comptroller’s race as a means to that end, threatening to bigfoot the otherwise pedestrian campaign of mild-mannered policy wonk and career politician Scott Stringer. But the self-funded Spitzer was ultimately denied victory, an outcome that largely represented more of a rejection of Spitzer than an endorsement of Stringer. On the Republican side of the aisle — in a far less prominent race — a self-made billionaire grocery magnate named John Catsimatidis essentially tried to buy the GOP nomination, encouraged by a cadre of consultants and a handful of high-profile endorsees, many of whom were persuaded to support the man at least in part because of his financial largess.

Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:56am EDT (Reuters) – New York’s top financial regulator said the state plans to opt out of new U.S. insurance rules as the framework does not compel life insurers to hold adequate capital reserves for paying out customer claims. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) formulated a new set of rules known as principles-based reserving, or PBR, last year. The association represents state insurance regulators and coordinates rules and supervision among them. Under PBR, life insurance companies would calculate their reserves using models of their own design that take into account their product mix, investment portfolio and other factors. It is a change from the current standard, which calculates reserve requirements based on a formula that takes into account interest rates and mortality. New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) had earlier warned the changes might lead to a decrease in insurers’ reserves at a time of economic weakness. Both New York and California, two major states, voted against the PBR rules last year. Benjamin Lawsky, the superintendent of DFS, said in a letter dated September 11 addressed to other state insurance regulators that preliminary results showed the new rules did not meet the expected result of increased reserves. He said that since the rules didn’t achieve the desired objective the New York State would no longer implement the PBR approach from Friday. ( link.reuters.com/qas92v ) “The companies not only failed to increase their reserves, but in fact would have been allowed to reduce their reserves by nearly $4 billion,” Lawsky said in his letter. Lawsky said that under PBR, insurance companies have increased their reserves by only $668 million instead of an expected increase of about $10 billion. “This cannot possibly be the ‘compromise’ that we insurance regulators had in mind,” Lawsky said. Lawsky added that in its current form, PBR “represents an unwise move away from reserve requirements that are established by formulas and diligently policed by insurance regulators in favor of internal models developed by insurance companies themselves.” The news was first reported by the New York Times.

Braun – 2013-09-12T20:24:09Z Bonds issued by New York local governments and payable by revenue from a national settlement with major tobacco companies will get a boost from an arbitration panels decision to order the companies to pay the state more than $92 million, said Richard Larkin, director of credit analysis at Herbert J. Sims & Co. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said yesterday that arbitrators threw out an $800 million claim against the state by Philip Morris USA (MO) , Lorillard Inc. (LO) and Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) Instead, the panel ordered them to pay $92 million they withheld from the state from their 2003 annual payment. For issuers like Nassau County, this decision will definitely push back the date of a possible default for a good number of years, and may actually allow local issuers to pay 100% of their securitized tobacco debt in full and on time, Larkin said in an e-mail. Herbert J. Sims is based in Iselin, New Jersey . Eight other states won decisions yesterday over the disputed payments, while six lost, Larkin said. Besides New York, three of the winning states — Ohio , Illinois , and Iowa — have issued tobacco bonds, he said. None of the states that lost issued them, he said. Prices on Ohio tobacco bonds maturing in 2034 rose in trading today to about 73 cents on the dollar from 71.5 cents yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The prices are based on trades ranging from $2.4 million to $5 million. Health Costs The 46-state tobacco settlement in 1998 required the companies to make annual payments to resolve their liability in health-care cost litigation.