$10 million gets you $billions!

by Chris Sturr | November 15, 2008

Several insurance and financial service companies are reportedly buying up small S&L’s, for as little as $10 million, in order to qualify for billions of dollars from the TARP bailout fund.

According to Bloomberg News
,

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.,Genworth Financial Inc. and Lincoln National Corp. plan to buy lenders, a move that may entitle the three insurers to billions of dollars from the Treasury’s bank rescue fund.

Hartford, which posted a $2.6 billion third-quarter loss, jumped 21 percent in New York trading after agreeing to buy Sanford, Florida-based Federal Trust Corp. for $10 million. That should allow the insurer to convert to a savings-and-loan holding company and qualify for $1.1 billion to $3.4 billion from the Treasury, the company said in a statement today.

Genworth and Lincoln also sought recognition as S&L holding companies as they seek to buy thrift institutions in Minnesota and Indiana, OTS spokesman Bill Ruberry said. They’re following American Express Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, which sought bank status to get U.S. backing and bolster themselves against the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

“Wave a wand and suddenly Hartford is not an insurance company but a bank — it’s voodoo,” said Jim Glickenhaus, who helps manage $2 billion at Glickenhaus & Co. in New York. Treasury and lawmakers “need to take a deep breath and see what they’re doing.”

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  1. WATCH YOUR NEW STATEMENT – Hikes to % I canceled my Small Biz Delta Platinum in Q1 of this year. I received my second card’s statement today (Blue Personal). I have a balance and the account is active. Statement date of 11/06/2008. I notice the instructions See Page 5 For A Notice Of Changes To Your Account. Please See Page 6 For A Notice Of Changes To Your Account.I called to decline the new rate.Page 5 wasn’t applicable. Page 6 hiked the rate 3% as of 12/02/2008 (next billing cycle). The CSR was American or sounded as such. He was, however, unable to find the statement I was looking directly at — reading the fine print of Page 6, last line. I noticed that Page 3 is actually printed with “September 1, 2008 – September 30, 2008 — which is Membership Rewards. The statement had the same serial number on all 3 pages of the statement.He went off the phone a couple of times to “check on things”. The second time, on hold for five minutes and he disconnected the call.I called again at 7:45 p.m. 7:49 Mind you, I started this at 7:00 p.m.The second CSR’s name was Fritzo – I was placed on hold at 7:51 p.m. My decline of the new terms of the Cardholder Agreement were to be“Submitted in writing to the following address:American Express General Counsel Office1801 North West 66th Avenue – Suite 103Mail Code: 95-01-16Plantation, FL 33313It took TWO CRS nearly and HOUR to provide a Cardmember what they have the LEGAL RIGHT to decline. And they made it as long and hard as possible. So you think twice, Warren, if you want to keep your hefty investment into a Company that is deceptive and purposely hides that text in unsuspecting places — hoping and praying that stupid Cardmember doesn’t look at the statement and see those two lines and waste an hour of their Friday evening to do what every Cardmember should do: DECLINE THE NEW RATE BY PUTTING IT IN THE SNAIL MAILIF YOU ARE ASKING FOR $3.52b and then I’m taxed on it and then you cu the limit, mess with FICO, now attempt to RAISE the APR… that calls for action.

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