Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Jason van Steerwyck of IraqNow, in addition to being a really cracking milblogger, is a pretty deft hand at a certain type of finance story as well. I had noted that story about doctors refusing to treat malpractice lawyers over the ballooning cost of malpractice insurance, and dismissed it as the usual self-serving professional hissyfit. van Steerwyck points out the connection that I missed - that lawyers aren't to blame for the hefty rise in malpractice premiums. He notes that the catastrophic hit on the reinsurance capital pool by the 9/11 payouts has had a vicious ripple effect on the entire insurance industry, and the higher reinsurance premiums paid by malpractice insurance companies are driven by the competition for reinsurance capital by insurers with the threat of a 9/11 repeat hovering over their heads. This is the indirect economic effect of terror, which spreads itself across the entire economic world. Of course, you can't rail against this community of risk, because it is this mechanism which makes that economy resilient and effective. Insurance is an economic force multiplier.

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