Insurance makes us safer, right? Maybe not. Here's an article from Reuters.
Buffett's "time bomb" goes off on Wall Street
Sep 18, 2008
"...credit default swaps -- complex derivatives originally designed to protect banks from deadbeat borrowers -- are adding to the turmoil.
"This was supposedly a way to hedge risk," says Ellen Brown, the author of the book "Web of Debt."
"I'm sure their predictive models were right as far as the risk of the things they were insuring against. But what they didn't factor in was the risk that the sellers of this protection wouldn't pay ... That's what we're seeing now."
Brown is hardly alone in her criticism of the derivatives. Five years ago, billionaire investor Warren Buffett called them a "time bomb" and "financial weapons of mass destruction" and directed the insurance arm of his Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to exit the business...
"When the credit default market began back in the mid-1990s, the transactions were simpler, more transparent affairs. Not all the sellers were insurance companies like AIG -- most were not. But the protection buyer usually knew the protection seller..."