Friday, November 12, 2010

WSJ: "Mortality Swaps" and Goldman as the Spectre of Death

Today the WSJ reports in an article by Katy Burne of stepped up interest in swaps based on life insurance. These are technical swaps but essential what is being swapped is the risk of a person insured by life insurance dying earlier than the actuarial insurance tables predict.

So what you might ask?

Well, read this excerpt from the article that can be found on page c7 of the print version of today's paper:

"Under the swap, Goldman Sachs International will receive payments from the SPV if the policyholders die sooner than actuarial assumptions suggest they should, from a pandemic for example."

Great! Who wants to bet that Goldman Sachs holds majority stock in a biotech company capable of producing a virus that could selectively wipe out policy holders being gamed by Goldman (only sort of joking on this....)

Or maybe Goldman is selectively buying up the swaps for residents of the Gulf region since so many of them are going to die early due to their massive and ongoing exposure to petrochemicals and corexit....

Washington's Blog explains why in an EXCELLENT POST excerpted below. Go to the link to read the full article:

Washington's Blog: BP Oil Slams Florida

Florida has been hit with huge amounts of oil from the BP oil spill:

Tears after heartbreaking discovery near FL border: “Massive amounts of submerged and sub-surface oil” pushed on to beaches — “Neverending” (VIDEO)

*CONFIRMED* Chemist: That’s BP oil on Southwest Florida beach — “Should put to rest any doubt” over origin of 173 ppm oil found in sand near Sarasota

Orange Beach: “Billions of tar balls” (VIDEO)

Oil under sand still just “as toxic as the fresh oil”: Sample “had to be diluted 20 TIMES to get a reading” — Florida agency says SAME sample NOT toxic

FL Fisherman: “Like having a chemical dump site and not telling anyone” — “Oh no, I’m cleaning flounders right now that I just caught within eyesight of there”

All 40 scientists agree at meeting: “Fish in the Gulf of Mexico will continue to get sick, die or fail to reproduce as a result” of oil — What about the people?

Multiple boats of fishermen sickened on November 1 — One still hospitalized after “bleeding in his esophagus”

Dallas surgeon “has treated many people from the Gulf that have been made sick by BP’s toxic chemicals”

“I don’t recommend eating Gulf seafood, not with the risk of liver and kidney damage” says toxicologist — “They’re sniffing for something they can’t detect” ...

Doctor: “Dead people don’t talk, dead people don’t sue, dead people don’t tell the truth, and dead people don’t bother BP”

“Human race survives methane plume, for now” — May take 400 years to be clear on how methane affected Gulf says professor

“Data that’s been gathered about the spill’s impact has yet to be made public” — USF Dean: Feds will not share test results with researchers who collected samples

Dispersant use contaminates volume of water with up to 1,000 more PAHs — What’s worse? These toxic parts of oil remain longest

Toxicologist: “We tested a good number of seafood samples and in 100 percent we found petroleum” — Gov’t tests “little more than a farce”

Headlines courtesy of Florida Oil Spill Law.

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