Presidential candidate Rick Perry has touted Texas’ thriving economy as a sign that he would make an excellent economic steward, but one of his proposals might not do so well on a national scale: a plan to let Wall Street gamble on when retired Texas teachers would die.
According to notes of a meeting provided to The Huffington Post, Perry’s budget director Mike Morrissey advanced a plan in which investors from Swiss banking firm UBS profited from teachers’ deaths by purchasing life insurance policies on them. A fee for arranging the deals would accrue to Texas, which Morrissey said could eventually generate as much as $700 million for Texas.While Perry’s office has repeatedly denied explicitly backing the scheme, maintaning that the governor was simply keeping an open mind by listening to the proposal, an attendee at a meeting where the idea was pitched to teachers’ groups told The Huffington Post that the governor was fully behind the idea. Insurance Commissioner Jose Montemayor, a Perry appointee, was a particularly enthusiastic advocate.
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From the Los Angeles Times:
ATLANTA — Over the years, Richard F. “Dickie” Scruggs earned a reputation as one of the nation’s wiliest and most powerful plaintiff’s attorneys. Along the way he was hailed as a champion of the little guy. He was also derided as a scoundrel who would stoop as low as necessary to get his way — and fatten his bank account.
On Friday, his critics rested their case in the court of public opinion. The storied Mississippi lawyer — the man who engineered the monumental tobacco settlement of the 1990s, then took on Big Insurance after Hurricane Katrina — pleaded guilty to a federal charge that he conspired to bribe a judge.