Today’s Wall Street Journal has a stunning expose on a publicly-traded company called Life Partners Holdings. Are you ready for this? Life Partners creeps around asking the unemployed, the elderly and the sick (especially people with HIV/AIDS) to sell them their life insurance policies for cash. Then they bundle these policies into securities and sell them to vultures — oh, I am sorry, “investors.” Then the “investors” sit around and wait for people to die — the sooner the better for the purchasers of these death bonds. The future of this industry “looks bright,” chirps National Underwriters.
Reminds you a little of those Death Eaters in Harry Potter, doesn’t it?
Of course the “life settlements industry” would not be possible with out the financing and backing of big Wall Street banks, the triple-A rating from Wall Street credit agencies and, of course, the quality work of the “big four” accounting firms. The recently-indicted Ernst and Young cooks the books for Life Partners. Last year BanksterUSA targeted Goldman Sachs’ financing of this emerging industry. This year, Goldman shut down Longmore Capital, its death bonds subsidiary, and withdrew from the market.