by John Darer® CLU ChFC MSSC RSP CLTC
As the debate continues over the standard of care in 1983-1986 to today I have some new insight developed through my ongoing research.
One industry leader and I have had a somewhat heated recent ongoing debate about the availability of information, specifically the Internet vs No Internet. He or she has thrown down a figurative gauntlet on the subject.
In the left corner wearing the white trunks, we have an opinion that touts the A.M. Best rating was the "state of the art" in 1983-1986 and that there was no Internet is a worthy defence of ignoring the business environment.
In the other corner, wearing the black trunks, we have someone who is somewhat flabbergasted with the notion that the founders of my industry and plaintiff lawyers of the time could be unsavvy financial Neanderthals who lived in a vacuum, blind to material news that major financial institutions noticed and took action on, prime time/ mainstream news that essentially smacked 'em in the face over and over again for more than 2 years. The state of the art in media of the time was more than enough, in my opinion.
The pile of unavoidable information that creates the picture of an environment that should have given anyone pause with regard to putting all their or their client's eggs in one basket continues to grow.
The day Baldwin-United declared bankruptcy, the biggest one ever in the United States at the time, CBS Evening News in with Dan Rather carried the Baldwin-United bankruptcy as its lead story onto the TV screens of millions. That was September 27, 1983 from 530pm to 535:50pm, according to the Vanderbilt University News Archive. Less than two months later, The New York Times carried a story about how merrill Lynch and other Wall Street brokerage houses were ditching Executive Life.
Did "white trunk" theorists reliance on A.M. Best stem from the Model Periodic Payment of Judgments Act of 1980? I will examine that thread in another blog post.