- NRA to Lobby Against Firearms Treaty: The United States’ most powerful pro-gun group, the National Rifle Association (“NRA”) is vowing to contest a newly proposed international treaty aimed at regulating the $70B per year international firearms trade. While arms control has become a frontpage issue in the United States in the wake of the horrific shooting in Newtown, CT, it appears that the treaty would have little chance of success in the Senate, where pro-gun Senators have vowed to block the treaty.
- World Watches as US Nears Fiscal Cliff: US taxpayers are in for a nasty surprise on January 1st unless the federal government can reach a deal to avoid a massive set of tax increases and defense spending cuts. As both sides start to divvy up blame, a deal appears increasingly less likely. US and world financial markets have become more jittery and dropped in recent days as the world braces for the impact a failed deal would have.
- Germany Creates National Gun Registry: The German federal government now has a list of every legal gun owner in the country. Compiling information from many local and state registries has painted a clearer picture of gun ownership within the country. There are roughly 5.5M legally registered guns in the country, along with roughly 1.4M gun owners – approximately 4 guns per owner. All EU countries are required to create such a registry by 2015.
- Bermuda to Become Hub of Fixed Annuity Reinsurance?: At least one high-level fixed-income manager thinks so. However, according to a report published in Bermuda’s Royal Gazette, Cliff Corso, CEO and chief investment officer of Cutwater Asset Management, predicts that the tiny island nation could play a big role in the fixed annuity reinsurance market. He noted:
I think there’s a huge demand for reinsurance for fixed annuity life contracts…one of the greatest benefits, in terms of supply to Bermuda, is that, given the rate curve and where it sits today, and given the capital requirements of the insurers, there’s still a significant potential supply of reinsurance in fixed annuity life into Bermuda. There are already some players, but I think there will probably be more entrants coming to the Island to handle the potential demand for reinsurance. That’s our view, given the dynamics of the rate environment, and given the attractiveness of Bermuda as a place that is innovative and solution-oriented and that’s proven.
Bermuda has long been a center of offshore banking and insurance, but the country’s economy was hard hit by the worldwide economic crisis. Might Bermuda be poised to bounce back? Only time will tell, but a rejuvenated reinsurance market would certainly be a shot in the arm for both sectors.