• Kirk Hartley

Risk-free Risk Taking

MBIA and Ambac apparently made underwriting mistakes in the process of backing various structured debt obligations (such as mortgage pools, SIVs, CDOs, etc.) that now are at risk of default. These insurers now face massive potential underwriting losses.

Rather than talking about increasing reserves, changes in underwriting practices, or, heaven forbid, insolvency – supervision – liquidation, the dialogue has turned to “bail out.” See here and here.

It seems an ideal time to be an underwriter, as risks may be taken freely knowing that regulators are there to enforce non-market solutions when the losses mount.



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About Kirk

Since becoming a lawyer in 1983, Kirk’s over 30 years of practice have focused on advising a wide range of corporations, associations, and individuals (as both plaintiffs and defendants) on both tort and commercial law issues centered around “mass torts.”


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