The Great Debate UK
from Reuters Investigates:
By Ben Berkowitz
The March 11 Great Tohoku Earthquake in Japan was a tragic disaster of historic proportions -- but from a purely financial standpoint it pales in comparison. (For a special report on insurers, click here.)
Estimates are still coming in but it seems likely the quake will end up ranking as the costliest of the last generation in insured losses, surpassing even the Northridge earthquake that struck southern California in 1994. (The one that collapsed a number of major freeways, by way of reference).
But looking back historically, it is dwarfed by two temblors in particular -- the New Madrid quake of 1812 and the San Francisco quake of 1906. If those events happened today, they would each cause nearly $100 billion in *insured* losses, to say nothing of their total economic impact.
Great Tohoku comes in fourth on that all-time list, assuming the higher end of AIR Worldwide's loss estimate.
from UK News:
By Clara Ferreira-Marques
Prudential's ill-fated Asian adventure has left the company and its management badly bruised. But it has offered at least two valuable lessons for ambitious executives tempted onto the acquisition path by post-crisis, "once-in-a-lifetime" deals.
Lesson one: It's not 2007 any more, Toto.
Lesson two: Disregard shareholders at your peril.
On the first, bold mega-deals that once impressed the market now seem to mostly unsettle both investors and regulators.
Barclays’ hasty deal to sell iShares in April served its purpose. The $4.4 billion price-tag boosted the bank’s capital, thereby allowing it to dodge the government’s insurance scheme. Barclays should now seek better terms on the deal.