by John Darer
Can anyone else see the macabre sense of irony that "claimants, policyholders, and other interested parties in the affairs of Executive Life Insurance Company of New York "(ELNY"), or their counsel have been invited "to appear and show cause" before the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Nassau County to discuss the "death" of Executive Life of New York on March 15, 2012 ("The Ides of March")?
On his way to the the Theatre of Pompei (where he would be assassinated), Caesar visited a seer who had foretold that harm would come to him not later than the Ides of March. Caesar joked, "The ides of March are come", to which the seer replied "Ay, Caesar; but not gone. This meeting is famously dramatized in Act I Scene II of Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar , where Caesar is warned by the soothsayer to "beware the Ides of March." Executive Life Insurance Company of New York structured settlement annuitants as well as holders of structured settlement payment rights will hope that the financial "greens" they've been expecting have more utility than "Rome-aine" lettuce in a "Caesar Salad" (right).
While Julius Caesar's fate was sealed in 44 B.C. by 23 knife thrusts of a group of conspirators in the Roman Senate, ELNY's fate has (in hindsight) run a gauntlet riddled with "termite mounds of hope" (to wit...see December 2007 announcement by New York official about "agreement in principle" which industry colleague Patrick Hindert ceaselessly reminds us never materialized; the statement by Mark Peters then head of the New York Liquidation Bureau that the 2007 proposed bailout plan"would be cheaper for insurer and avoids the chaos that would come from a liquidation" ) and the "potholes" of regulatory incompetence articulately framed by New York attorney Peter H. BIckford.
Assuming all is approved by those that need to approve it AND the plan is actually executed to perform as proposed, it appears that a majority of annuitants will continue to receive all of their payments. Yet it appears that under the proposed plan, some structured settlement annuitants will eventually have shortfalls that will not be made up.
The ELNY Order to Show Cause is an invitation to appear to be heard "why orders should not be made "
1. Declaring ELNY to be insolvent
2. Converting the rehabilitation of ELNY to a liquidation
3. Appointing the James Wrynn, Superintendent (of Insurance of the State of New York), and his successors in office , as liquidator of ELNY ("The Liquidator"). How can one not like a man whose title and "theme song" by Harry J. All Stars remind me of the pre-game "loosening of the vocal chords" at my beloved Chelsea (below )?
4. Fixing, as of the date a liquidation order is entered the rights and liabilities of ELNY and of its policyholdlers, creditors, and all other persons interested in the Estate of ELNY
5. Granting the injunctions provided for in Insurance Law section 7419, including enjoining and restraining all persons other than The Liquidator and his "possee" from:
*dealing with, disposing of, or doing or permitting any act or thing that might waste ELNY's assets;
* transacting ELNY's business;
*interfering with this proceeding or with the Liquidator in his possession, contraol or management of ELNY's property, or in his discharge under Insurance Law 74; and if you want to read the rest...
The "Invitation" Download ELNY Order to Show Cause September 1, 2011
While I know that some members of my trade association have worked hard and engaged in clandestine discussions with officials to try and make things as right as possible for Executive LIfe Insurance Company of New York structured settlement annuitants I make no apologies for my healthy skepticism.
More commentary to come...