The Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises subcommittee of the House Financial Services committee held hearings on how the Federal government should oversee insurance, a timely question since we’ve discovered the Federal government is backstopping a state regulated activity.
What is noteworthy about this session is that five experts were asked to opine on how to regulate capital adequacy and “too big to fail” and only one (Robert Hunter) made a serious, if sketchy, effort to answer the question. I can understand not having a simple answer to a complicated question (there are a lot of different products in insurance) but the flat-footedness is not encouraging.
The experts were:
Mr. Baird Webel, Specialist in Financial Economics, Congressional Research Service;
Ms. Patricia Guinn, Managing Director, Global Risk and Financial Services Business, Towers Perrin;
Mr. J. Robert Hunter, Director of Insurance, Consumer Federation of America;
Mr. Martin F. Grace, James S. Kemper Professor, Department of Risk Management and Insurance, Georgia State University; and
Mr. Scott Harrington, Alan B. Miller Professor, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.