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We paid for this instead of a generation of health insurance, or an alternative energy grid, or a brand-new system of roads and highways. With the $13-plus trillion we are estimated to ultimately spend on the bailouts, we could not only have bought and paid off every single sub-prime mortgage in the country (that would only have cost $1.4 trillion), we could have paid off every remaining mortgage of any kind in this country - and still have had enough money left over to buy a new house for every American who does not already have one.
Matt Taibbi (Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America)
Instead, they face heightened anxiety and sleep deprivation, which causes dramatic mood swings and is responsible for an estimated 13 percent of highway deaths. Worse yet, since the software is designed to save companies money, it often limits workers’ hours to fewer than thirty per week, so that they are not eligible for company health insurance.
Cathy O'Neil (Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy)
Gross rental income (including utilities fee) –  Mortgage payment (including principal, interest, taxes, and insurance) – Cost of utilities –  Vacancy allowance (10 percent of gross rents) –  Maintenance and CapEx (estimated at 1 percent of the property’s value, divided by 12 for monthly cost) –  Property management (10 percent of gross rents) Cash flow
Scott Trench (First-Time Home Buyer: The Complete Playbook to Avoiding Rookie Mistakes)
They asked forty-two experienced investors in the firm to estimate the fair value of a stock (the price at which the investors would be indifferent to buying or selling). The investors based their analysis on a one-page description of the business; the data included simplified profit and loss, balance sheet, and cash flow statements for the past three years and projections for the next two. Median noise, measured in the same way as in the insurance company, was 41%. Such large differences among investors in the same firm, using the same valuation methods, cannot be good news.
Daniel Kahneman (Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment)
And it would be startlingly cheap. IV estimates the “Save the Arctic” plan could be set up in just two years at a cost of roughly $20 million, with an annual operating cost of about $10 million. If cooling the poles alone proved insufficient, IV has drawn up a “Save the Planet” version, with five worldwide base stations instead of two, and three hoses at each site. This would put about three to five times the amount of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. Even so, that would still represent less than 1 percent of current worldwide sulfur emissions. IV estimates this plan could be up and running in about three years, with a startup cost of $150 million and annual operating costs of $100 million. So Budyko’s Blanket could effectively reverse global warming at a total cost of $250 million. Compared with the $1.2 trillion that Nicholas Stern proposes spending each year to attack the problem, IV’s idea is, well, practically free. It would cost $50 million less to stop global warming than what Al Gore’s foundation is paying just to increase public awareness about global warming. And there lies the key to the question we asked at the beginning of this chapter: What do Al Gore and Mount Pinatubo have in common? The answer is that Gore and Pinatubo both suggest a way to cool the planet, albeit with methods whose cost-effectiveness are a universe apart.
Steven D. Levitt (SuperFreakonomics, Illustrated edition: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance)
The early estimate matters because it sets an implicit goal for the adjuster in future negotiations with the claimant. The insurance company is also legally obligated to reserve the predicted cost of each claim (i.e., to have enough cash to be able to pay it). Here again, there is a Goldilocks value from the perspective of the company. A settlement is not guaranteed, as there is an attorney for the claimant on the other side, who may choose to go to court if the offer is miserly. On the other hand, an overly generous reserve may allow the adjuster too much latitude to agree to frivolous demands. The adjuster’s judgment is consequential for the company—and even more consequential for the claimant.
Daniel Kahneman (Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment)
In her book The Government-Citizen Disconnect, the political scientist Suzanne Mettler reports that 96 percent of American adults have relied on a major government program at some point in their lives. Rich, middle-class, and poor families depend on different kinds of programs, but the average rich and middle-class family draws on the same number of government benefits as the average poor family. Student loans look like they were issued from a bank, but the only reason banks hand out money to eighteen-year-olds with no jobs, no credit, and no collateral is because the federal government guarantees the loans and pays half their interest. Financial advisers at Edward Jones or Prudential can help you sign up for 529 college savings plans, but those plans' generous tax benefits will cost the federal government an estimated $28.5 billion between 2017 and 2026. For most Americans under the age of sixty-five, health insurance appears to come from their jobs, but supporting this arrangement is one of the single largest tax breaks issued by the federal government, one that exempts the cost of employer-sponsored health insurance from taxable incomes. In 2022, this benefit is estimated to have cost the government $316 billion for those under sixty-five. By 2032, its price tag is projected to exceed $6oo billion. Almost half of all Americans receive government-subsidized health benefits through their employers, and over a third are enrolled in government-subsidized retirement benefits. These participation rates, driven primarily by rich and middle-class Americans, far exceed those of even the largest programs directed at low income families, such as food stamps (14 percent of Americans) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (19 percent). Altogether, the United States spent $1.8 trillion on tax breaks in 2021. That amount exceeded total spending on law enforcement, education, housing, healthcare, diplomacy, and everything else that makes up our discretionary budget. Roughly half the benefits of the thirteen largest individual tax breaks accrue to the richest families, those with incomes that put them in the top 20 percent. The top I percent of income earners take home more than all middle-class families and double that of families in the bottom 20 percent. I can't tell you how many times someone has informed me that we should reduce military spending and redirect the savings to the poor. When this suggestion is made in a public venue, it always garners applause. I've met far fewer people who have suggested we boost aid to the poor by reducing tax breaks that mostly benefit the upper class, even though we spend over twice as much on them as on the military and national defense.
Matthew Desmond (Poverty, by America)
Rich, middle-class, and poor families depend on different kinds of programs, but the average rich and middle-class family draws on the same number of government benefits as the average poor family. Student loans look like they were issued from a bank, but the only reason banks hand out money to eighteen-year-olds with no jobs, no credit, and no collateral is because the federal government guarantees the loans and pays half their interest. Financial advisers at Edward Jones or Prudential can help you sign up for 529 college savings plans, but those plans’ generous tax benefits will cost the federal government an estimated $28.5 billion between 2017 and 2026. For most Americans under the age of sixty-five, health insurance appears to come from their jobs, but supporting this arrangement is one of the single largest tax breaks issued by the federal government, one that exempts the cost of employer-sponsored health insurance from taxable incomes.
Matthew Desmond (Poverty, by America)
During the year we interviewed him, Dr. South spent more than $70,000 for his most recent motor vehicle purchase, related sales tax, and insurance. Yet for the same period, how much did he place in his pension plan? About $5,700! In other words, only about $1 in every $125 of his income was set aside for retirement. The amount of time Dr. South took to find the best deal on his car was also counterproductive. We estimated that it took him more than sixty hours to study, negotiate, and purchase his Porsche. How much time and effort does it take someone to place money in a pension plan? A small fraction of this time and energy. It is easy for Dr. South to say he wants to accumulate wealth, but his actions speak much louder than his words. Perhaps that explains why he has lost a considerable amount of wealth through imprudent investing. Investing when one has little or no intellectual basis for one’s decisions often translates into major losses. T
Thomas J. Stanley (The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy)
On June 18, five hours after he had talked to his cousin Bill Hapscomb, Joe Bob Brentwood pulled down a speeder on Texas Highway 40 about twenty-five miles east of Arnette. The speeder was Harry Trent of Braintree, an insurance man. He had been doing sixty-five miles per in a fifty-mile-an-hour zone. Joe Bob gave him a speeding ticket. Trent accepted it humbly and then amused Joe Bob by trying to sell him insurance on his house and his life. Joe Bob felt fine; dying was the last thing on his mind. Nevertheless, he was already a sick man. He had gotten more than gas at Bill Hapscomb’s Texaco. And he gave Harry Trent more than a speeding summons. Harry, a gregarious man who liked his job, passed the sickness to more than forty people during that day and the next. How many those forty passed it to is impossible to say—you might as well ask how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. If you were to make a conservative estimate of five apiece, you’d have two hundred. Using the same conservative formula, one could say those two hundred went on to infect a thousand, the thousand five thousand, the five thousand twenty-five thousand. Under the California desert and subsidized by the taxpayers’ money, someone had finally invented a chain letter that really worked. A very lethal chain letter.
Stephen King (The Stand)
But as he went up to London he told himself that the air of the House of Commons was now the very breath of his nostrils. Life to him without it would be no life. To have come within the reach of the good things of political life, to have made his mark so as to have almost insured future success, to have been the petted young official aspirant of the day, — and then to sink down into the miserable platitudes of private life, to undergo daily attendance in law-courts without a brief, to listen to men who had come to be much below him in estimation and social intercourse, to sit in a wretched chamber up three pairs of stairs at Lincoln’s Inn, whereas he was now at this moment provided with a gorgeous apartment looking out into the Park from the Colonial Office in Downing Street, to be attended by a mongrel between a clerk and an errand boy at 17s. 6d. a week instead of by a private secretary who was the son of an earl’s sister, and was petted by countesses’ daughters innumerable, — all this would surely break his heart. He could have done it, so he told himself, and could have taken glory in doing it, had not these other things come in his way. But the other things had come. He had run the risk, and had thrown the dice. And now when the game was so nearly won, must it be that everything should be lost at last?
Anthony Trollope (Complete Works of Anthony Trollope)
As soon as we study animals — not in laboratories and museums only, but in the forest and the prairie, in the steppe and the mountains — we at once perceive that though there is an immense amount of warfare and extermination going on amidst various species, and especially amidst various classes of animals, there is, at the same time, as much, or perhaps even more, of mutual support, mutual aid, and mutual defence amidst animals belonging to the same species or, at least, to the same society. Sociability is as much a law of nature as mutual struggle. Of course it would be extremely difficult to estimate, however roughly, the relative numerical importance of both these series of facts. But if we resort to an indirect test, and ask Nature: “Who are the fittest: those who are continually at war with each other, or those who support one another?” we at once see that those animals which acquire habits of mutual aid are undoubtedly the fittest. They have more chances to survive, and they attain, in their respective classes, the highest development of intelligence and bodily organization. If the numberless facts which can be brought forward to support this view are taken into account, we may safely say that mutual aid is as much a law of animal life as mutual struggle, but that, as a factor of evolution, it most probably has a far greater importance, inasmuch as it favours the development of such habits and characters as insure the maintenance and further development of the species, together with the greatest amount of welfare and enjoyment of life for the individual, with the least waste of energy.
Pyotr Kropotkin (Mutual Aid: A Factor in Evolution (Annotated))
According to Bartholomew, an important goal of St. Louis zoning was to prevent movement into 'finer residential districts . . . by colored people.' He noted that without a previous zoning law, such neighborhoods have become run-down, 'where values have depreciated, homes are either vacant or occupied by color people.' The survey Bartholomew supervised before drafting the zoning ordinance listed the race of each building's occupants. Bartholomew attempted to estimate where African Americans might encroach so the commission could respond with restrictions to control their spread. The St. Louis zoning ordinance was eventually adopted in 1919, two years after the Supreme Court's Buchanan ruling banned racial assignments; with no reference to race, the ordinance pretended to be in compliance. Guided by Bartholomew's survey, it designated land for future industrial development if it was in or adjacent to neighborhoods with substantial African American populations. Once such rules were in force, plan commission meetings were consumed with requests for variances. Race was frequently a factor. For example, on meeting in 1919 debated a proposal to reclassify a single-family property from first-residential to commercial because the area to the south had been 'invaded by negroes.' Bartholomew persuaded the commission members to deny the variance because, he said, keeping the first-residential designation would preserve homes in the area as unaffordable to African Americans and thus stop the encroachment. On other occasions, the commission changed an area's zoning from residential to industrial if African American families had begun to move into it. In 1927, violating its normal policy, the commission authorized a park and playground in an industrial, not residential, area in hopes that this would draw African American families to seek housing nearby. Similar decision making continued through the middle of the twentieth century. In a 1942 meeting, commissioners explained they were zoning an area in a commercial strip as multifamily because it could then 'develop into a favorable dwelling district for Colored people. In 1948, commissioners explained they were designating a U-shaped industrial zone to create a buffer between African Americans inside the U and whites outside. In addition to promoting segregation, zoning decisions contributed to degrading St. Louis's African American neighborhoods into slums. Not only were these neighborhoods zoned to permit industry, even polluting industry, but the plan commission permitted taverns, liquor stores, nightclubs, and houses of prostitution to open in African American neighborhoods but prohibited these as zoning violations in neighborhoods where whites lived. Residences in single-family districts could not legally be subdivided, but those in industrial districts could be, and with African Americans restricted from all but a few neighborhoods, rooming houses sprang up to accommodate the overcrowded population. Later in the twentieth century, when the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) developed the insure amortized mortgage as a way to promote homeownership nationwide, these zoning practices rendered African Americans ineligible for such mortgages because banks and the FHA considered the existence of nearby rooming houses, commercial development, or industry to create risk to the property value of single-family areas. Without such mortgages, the effective cost of African American housing was greater than that of similar housing in white neighborhoods, leaving owners with fewer resources for upkeep. African American homes were then more likely to deteriorate, reinforcing their neighborhoods' slum conditions.
Richard Rothstein (The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America)
As the scandal spread and gained momentum, Cardinal Law found himself on the cover of Newsweek, and the Church in crisis became grist for the echo chamber of talk radio and all-news cable stations. The image of TV reporters doing live shots from outside klieg-lit churches and rectories became a staple of the eleven o’clock news. Confidentiality deals, designed to contain the Church’s scandal and maintain privacy for embarrassed victims, began to evaporate as those who had been attacked learned that the priests who had assaulted them had been put in positions where they could attack others too. There were stories about clergy sex abuse in virtually every state in the Union. The scandal reached Ireland, Mexico, Austria, France, Chile, Australia, and Poland, the homeland of the Pope. A poll done for the Washington Post, ABC News, and Beliefnet.com showed that a growing majority of Catholics were critical of the way their Church was handling the crisis. Seven in ten called it a major problem that demanded immediate attention. Hidden for so long, the financial price of the Church’s negligence was astonishing. At least two dioceses said they had been pushed to the brink of bankruptcy after being abandoned by their insurance companies. In the past twenty years, according to some estimates, the cost to pay legal settlements to those victimized by the clergy was as much as $1.3 billion. Now the meter was running faster. Hundreds of people with fresh charges of abuse began to contact lawyers. By April 2002, Cardinal Law was under siege and in seclusion in his mansion in Boston, where he was heckled by protesters, satirized by cartoonists, lampooned by late-night comics, and marginalized by a wide majority of his congregation that simply wanted him out. In mid-April, Law secretly flew to Rome, where he discussed resigning with the Pope.
The Investigative Globe (Betrayal: The Crisis In the Catholic Church: The Findings of the Investigation That Inspired the Major Motion Picture Spotlight)
MATHEMATICAL MIRACLE Some years ago, I heard a story which has been making the rounds in Midwest A.A. circles for years. I don’t have any names to back up this story, but I have heard it from many sources, and the circumstances sound believable. A man in a small Wisconsin city had been on the program for about three years and had enjoyed contented sobriety through that period. Then bad luck began to hit him in bunches. The firm for which he had worked for some fifteen years was sold; his particular job was phased out of existence, and the plant moved to another city. For several months, he struggled along at odd jobs while looking for a company that needed his specialized experience. Then another blow hit him. His wife was forced to enter a hospital for major surgery, and his company insurance had expired. At this point he cracked, and decided to go on an all-out binge. He didn’t want to stage this in the small city, where everyone knew his sobriety record. So he went to Chicago, checked in at a North Side hotel, and set forth on his project. It was Friday night, and the bars were filled with a swinging crowd. But he was in no mood for swinging—he just wanted to get quietly, miserably drunk. Finally, he found a basement bar on a quiet side street, practically deserted. He sat down on a bar stool and ordered a double bourbon on the rocks. The bartender said, “Yes, sir,” and reached for a bottle. Then the bartender stopped in his tracks, took a long, hard look at the customer, leaned over the bar, and said in a low tone, “I was in Milwaukee about four months ago, and one night I attended an open meeting. You were on the speaking platform, and you gave one of the finest A.A. talks I ever heard.” The bartender turned and walked to the end of the bar. For a few minutes, the customer sat there—probably in a state of shock. Then he picked his money off the bar with trembling hands and walked out, all desire for a drink drained out of him. It is estimated that there are about 8,000 saloons in Chicago, employing some 25,000 bartenders. This man had entered the one saloon in 8,000 where he would encounter the one man in 25,000 who knew that he was a member of A.A. and didn’t belong there. Chicago, Illinois
Alcoholics Anonymous (Came to Believe)
I’m telling you, you bastard, you’re going to pay for that rum. In gold or goods, I don’t care which.” “Captain Mallory.” Gray’s baritone was forbidding. “And I apply that title loosely, as you are no manner of captain in my estimation…I have no intention of compensating you for the loss of your cargo. I will, however, accept your thanks.” “My thanks? For what?” “For what?” Now O’Shea entered the mix. “For saving that heap of a ship and your worthless, rum-soaked arse, that’s what.” “I’ll thank you to go to hell,” the gravelly voice answered. Mallory, she presumed. “You can’t just board a man’s craft and pitch a hold full of spirits into the sea. Right knaves, you lot.” “Oh, now we’re the knaves, are we?” Gray asked. “I should have let that ship explode around your ears, you despicable sot. Knaves, indeed.” “Well, if you’re such virtuous, charitable gents, then how come I’m trussed like a pig?” Sophia craned her neck and pushed the hatch open a bit further. Across the deck, she saw a pair of split-toed boots tied together with rope. Gray answered, “We had to bind you last night because you were drunk out of your skull. And we’re keeping you bound now because you’re sober and still out of your skull.” The lashed boots shuffled across the deck, toward Gray. “Let me loose of these ropes, you blackguard, and I’ll pound you straight out of your skull into oblivion.” O’Shea responded with a stream of colorful profanity, which Captain Grayson cut short. “Captain Mallory,” he said, his own highly polished boots pacing slowly, deliberately to halt between Mallory’s and Gray’s. “I understand your concern over losing your cargo. But surely you or your investor can recoup the loss with an insurance claim. You could not have sailed without a policy against fire.” Gray gave an ironic laugh. “Joss, I’ll wager you anything, that rum wasn’t on any bill of lading or insurance policy. Can’t you see the man’s nothing but a smuggler? Probably wasn’t bound for any port at all. What was your destination, Mallory? A hidden cove off the coast of Cornwall, perhaps?” He clucked his tongue. “That ship was overloaded and undermanned, and it would have been a miracle if you’d made it as far as Portugal. As for the rum, take up your complaint with the Vice Admiralty court after you follow us to Tortola. I’d welcome it.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
Mr. Crane is presently working as multi profile attributes, he is a Board Certified for the various profiles, Indoor Air Quality Consultant, Mold Remediator, Level 3 Certified Xactimate Estimator, All lines Insurance Adjuster, and Lead paint Renovator.
Justin Crane
In 1958, a New York diamond merchant named Harry Winston donated the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institute. At forty-five-and-a-half carats, the gem is worth an estimated $200 million (give or take $50 million), but Winston didn’t hire an armored car to deliver it to the Smithsonian. He sent it via the U.S. Postal Service, placing it in a box, wrapping the box in brown paper, and insuring it for $145.29.
Dan Lewis (Now I Know More: The Revealing Stories Behind Even More of the World's Most Interesting Facts (Now I Know Series))
A small business owner from Port Clinton, OH, wrote, on September 19, 2013:   I strongly urge you to stand up for the middle class and small business and vote to DEFUND ObamaCare. As a small business owner, we have always offered health insurance. After meeting with our health insurance representative, we learned that the lowest coverage level of ObamaCare offered is estimated to be about $400 a person, twice what we pay now for excellent coverage. . . .  With big business and government being exempted from this policy, again the SMALL BUSINESS OWNER and individual are left with all the costs for everyone else. This could well end up closing our business and then there will be 15 more individuals collecting from the government.   A
Ted Cruz (TED CRUZ: FOR GOD AND COUNTRY: Ted Cruz on ISIS, ISIL, Terrorism, Immigration, Obamacare, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Republicans,)
A recent survey of private US health care facilities estimated that the support staff of hospital physicians spends nineteen hours a week interacting with insurance providers in prior authorizations, while clerical staff spend thirty-six hours a week filing claims. The cost of interactions between private health care providers and private insurance providers was estimated to be $68,000 per physician per year, totaling a whopping $31 billion per year—equivalent to the GDP of the Dominican Republic in 2005.22 The interaction costs in 1999 for the entire health care system, including private and public, were estimated on the low end to be $31 billion and on the high end to be $294 billion—which is comparable to the present day GDP of Singapore or Chile.
Cesar A. Hidalgo (Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies)
Runaway costs are crushing the American medical system. Hispanics are the group least likely to have medical insurance, with 30.7 percent uninsured. Ten point eight percent of whites and 19.1 percent of blacks are without insurance. Illegal immigrants rarely have insurance, but hospitals cannot turn them away. In 1985, Congress passed the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, which requires hospitals to treat all emergency patients, without regard to legal status or ability to pay. Anyone who can stagger within 250 yards of a hospital—a distance established through litigation—is entitled to “emergency care,” which is defined so broadly that hospital emergency rooms have become free clinics. Emergency-room care is the most expensive kind. Childbirth is an emergency, and hospitals must keep mother and child until both can be discharged. If the mother is indigent the hospital pays for treatment, even if there are expensive complications. Any child born in the United States is considered a US citizen, so thousands of indigent illegal immigrants make a point of having “anchor babies” at public expense. The new American qualifies for all forms of welfare, and at age 21 can sponsor his parents for American citizenship. In 2006 in California, an estimated 100,000 illegal immigrant mothers had babies at public expense, and accounted for about one in five births. The costs were estimated at $400 million per year, and in the state as a whole, half of all Medi-Cal (state welfare) births were to illegal immigrant mothers. In 2003, 70 percent of the babies born in San Joaquin General Hospital in Stockton were anchor babies. In Los Angeles and other cities with heavy gang activity, hospitals must deal with “dump and run” patients—criminals wounded in shootouts who are rolled out of speeding cars by fellow gang members. Illegal-immigrant patients often show up without papers of any kind, and doctors have no idea whom they are treating. Mexican hospitals routinely turn away uninsured Mexicans, and if the US border is not far, may tell the ambulance driver to head for the nearest American hospital. “It’s a phenomenon we noticed some time ago, one that has expanded very rapidly,” said a federal law enforcement officer.
Jared Taylor (White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century)
A thorough flip budget includes: • Investment property purchase price and settlement costs • Loan costs (such as application fees, points, and lifetime interest) • Repair and renovation costs (based on estimates from experienced contractors) • Inspection fees • Staging costs • Selling costs (including real estate agent commission and other closing costs) • Professional fees • Insurance • Property and school taxes • Utilities • Income tax provisions
Michele Cagan (Real Estate Investing 101: From Finding Properties and Securing Mortgage Terms to REITs and Flipping Houses, an Essential Primer on How to Make Money with Real Estate (Adams 101))
Imagine that you have to break someone’s arm. Right or left, doesn’t matter. The point is that you have to break it, because if you don’t…well, that doesn’t matter either. Let’s just say bad things will happen if you don’t. Now, my question goes like this: do you break the arm quickly — snap, whoops, sorry, here let me help you with that improvised splint — or do you drag the whole business out for a good eight minutes, every now and then increasing the pressure in the tiniest of increments, until the pain becomes pink and green and hot and cold and altogether howlingly unbearable? Well exactly. Of course. The right thing to do, the only thing to do, is to get it over with as quickly as possible. Break the arm, ply the brandy, be a good citizen. There can be no other answer. Unless. Unless unless unless. What if you were to hate the person on the other end of the arm? I mean really, really hate them. This was a thing I now had to consider. I say now, meaning then, meaning the moment I am describing; the moment fractionally, oh so bloody fractionally, before my wrist reached the back of my neck and my left humerus broke into at least two, very possibly more, floppily joined-together pieces. The arm we’ve been discussing, you see, is mine. It’s not an abstract, philosopher’s arm. The bone, the skin, the hairs, the small white scar on the point of the elbow, won from the corner of a storage heater at Gateshill Primary School — they all belong to me. And now is the moment when I must consider the possibility that the man standingbehind me, gripping my wrist and driving it up my spine with an almost sexual degree of care, hates me. I mean, really, really hates me. He is taking for ever. His name was Rayner. First name unknown. By me, at any rate, and therefore, presumably, by you too. I suppose someone, somewhere, must have known his first name — must have baptised him with it, called him down to breakfast with it, taught him how to spell it — and someone else must have shouted it across a bar with an offer of a drink, or murmured it during sex, or written it in a box on a life insurance application form. I know they must have done all these things. Just hard to picture, that’s all. Rayner, I estimated, was ten years older than me. Which was fine. Nothing wrong with that. I have good, warm, non-arm-breaking relationships with plenty of people who are ten years older than me. People who are ten years older than me are, by and large, admirable. But Rayner was also three inches taller than me, four stones heavier, and at least eight however-you-measure-violence units more violent. He was uglier than a car park, with a big, hairless skull that dipped and bulged like a balloon full of spanners, and his flattened, fighter’s nose, apparently drawn on his face by someone using their left hand, or perhaps even their left foot, spread out in a meandering, lopsided delta under the rough slab of his forehead.
Hugh Laurie (The Gun Seller)
When W. Clement Stone, an insurance magnate and philanthropist, gave $2 million to Richard M. Nixon’s 1972 campaign, it caused public outrage and contributed to a movement that produced the post-Watergate reforms in campaign financing.” Accounting for inflation, Balz estimated that Stone’s $2 million might be worth about $11 million in today’s dollars. In contrast, for the 2016 election, the political war chest accumulated by the Kochs and their small circle of friends was projected to be $889 million, completely dwarfing the scale of money that was considered deeply corrupt during the Watergate days.
Jane Mayer (Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right)
Nathanael hadn’t delivered any specific message; the angel’s parting words, which had boomed out across the entire visitation site, were the typical Behold the power of the Lord. Of the eight casualties that day, three souls were accepted into Heaven and five were not, a closer ratio than the average for deaths by all causes. Sixty-two people received medical treatment for injuries ranging from slight concussions to ruptured eardrums to burns requiring skin grafts. Total property damage was estimated at $8.1 million, all of it excluded by private insurance companies due to the cause. Scores of people became devout worshipers in the wake of the visitation, either out of gratitude or terror. Alas,
Ted Chiang (Arrival)
Keynes had been appointed to the board of the National Mutual, one of the oldest institutions in the city, in 1919.107 He had served as chairman of the insurer, and helped manage its investment portfolio from 1921. That portfolio lost £641,000 ($61 million), an enormous sum of money in 1937. While Keynes was recuperating from a heart attack, F. N. Curzon, the acting chairman of the insurer called him to account for the loss.108 Curzon and the board criticized Keynes’s investment policy of remaining invested in his “pet” stocks during the decline.109 In a response to Curzon in March 1938, Keynes wrote:110 1. I do not believe that selling at very low prices is a remedy for having failed to sell at high ones. . . . As soon as prices had fallen below a reasonable estimate of intrinsic value and long-period probabilities, there was nothing more to be done. It was too late to remedy any defects in previous policy, and the right course was to stand pretty well where one was. 2. I feel no shame at being found owning a share when the bottom of the market comes. I do not think it is the business, far less the duty, for an institutional or any other serious investor to be constantly considering whether he should cut and run on a falling market, or to feel himself open to blame if shares depreciate on his hands. . . . An investor is aiming, or should be aiming, primarily at long-period results, and should be solely judged by these. . . . The idea that we should all be selling out to the other fellow and should all be finding ourselves with nothing but cash at the bottom of the market is not merely fantastic, but destructive of the whole system. 3. I do not feel that we have in fact done particularly badly. . . . If we deal in equities; it is inevitable that there should be large fluctuations.
Allen C. Benello (Concentrated Investing: Strategies of the World's Greatest Concentrated Value Investors)
The Economics of Property-Casualty Insurance With the acquisition of General Re — and with GEICO’s business mushrooming — it becomes more important than ever that you understand how to evaluate an insurance company. The key determinants are: (1) the amount of float that the business generates; (2) its cost; and (3) most important of all, the long-term outlook for both of these factors. To begin with, float is money we hold but don't own. In an insurance operation, float arises because premiums are received before losses are paid, an interval that sometimes extends over many years. During that time, the insurer invests the money. Typically, this pleasant activity carries with it a downside: The premiums that an insurer takes in usually do not cover the losses and expenses it eventually must pay. That leaves it running an "underwriting loss," which is the cost of float. An insurance business has value if its cost of float over time is less than the cost the company would otherwise incur to obtain funds. But the business is a lemon if its cost of float is higher than market rates for money. A caution is appropriate here: Because loss costs must be estimated, insurers have enormous latitude in figuring their underwriting results, and that makes it very difficult for investors to calculate a company's true cost of float. Errors of estimation, usually innocent but sometimes not, can be huge. The consequences of these miscalculations flow directly into earnings. An experienced observer can usually detect large-scale errors in reserving, but the general public can typically do no more than accept what's presented, and at times I have been amazed by the numbers that big-name auditors have implicitly blessed. As for Berkshire, Charlie and I attempt to be conservative in presenting its underwriting results to you, because we have found that virtually all surprises in insurance are unpleasant ones. The table that follows shows the float generated by Berkshire’s insurance operations since we entered the business 32 years ago. The data are for every fifth year and also the last, which includes General Re’s huge float. For the table we have calculated our float — which we generate in large amounts relative to our premium volume — by adding net loss reserves, loss adjustment reserves, funds held under reinsurance assumed and unearned premium reserves, and then subtracting agents balances, prepaid acquisition costs, prepaid taxes and deferred charges applicable to assumed reinsurance. (Got that?)
Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders, 2023)
Kelowna Retaining Walls specializes in building custom retaining walls in Kelowna and in surrounding communities. As hardscape professionals, we are fully licensed and insured. Offering free estimates, we are your retaining wall contractors that will help with design ideas and completion of the retaining wall just as you imagined. If you are in need of a new retaining wall or are considering a retaining wall replacement, give us a call today!
Kelowna Retaining Walls
The Italians, who have been “guest workers” at many times and in many countries, are thrown by the phenomenon happening in their own country. During this second summer at Bramasole, the newspapers are tolerant to indignant about Albanians literally washing up on the shores of southern Italy. Living in San Francisco, a city where immigrants arrive daily, we cannot get excited about their problem. Americans in cities have realized that migrations are on the increase; that the whole demographic tapestry is being rewoven on a vast scale in the late twentieth century. Europe is having a harder time coming to grips with this fact. We have our own poor, they tell us incredulously. Yes, we say, we do, too. Italy is amazingly homogeneous; it is rare to see a black or Asian face in Tuscany. Recently, Eastern Europeans, finding the German work force at last full of people like themselves, began arriving in this prosperous part of northern Italy. Now we understood Alfiero’s estimate for the work. Instead of paying the normal Italian twenty-five thousand to thirty thousand lire per hour, he is able to pay nine thousand. He assures us they are legal workers and are covered by his insurance. The Poles are pleased with the hourly wage; at home, before the factory went kaput, they barely earned that much in a day.
Frances Mayes (Under the Tuscan Sun)
Helping everyone in your organization to understand how a typical property restoration estimating / billing is composed helps front line employees to understand the importance of their documentation from the field.
Jon Isaacson (Be Intentional: Estimating: Developing the right mindset and habits for yourself and your team to succeed with estimating property insurance claims)
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Bill Wyte
However, not even Soros could persuade Congress to pass any laws, and ultimately these proposals failed. Soros, Gonzales, Leach, and others were up against stiff competition. In the past two election cycles alone, legislators received an estimated $100 million in contributions from banks, investment firms, and insurance companies.
Frank Partnoy (FIASCO: Blood in the Water on Wall Street)
The ideas behind Bitcoin and blockchain technology give us a new starting point from which to address this problem. That’s because the question of who controls our data should stem first from a more fundamental question about who or what institutions we must trust in order to engage in commerce, obtain services, or participate in modern society. We see compelling arguments for a complete restructuring of the world’s data security paradigm. And it starts with thinking about how Internet users can start to directly trust each other, so as to avoid having to pour so much information into the centralized hubs that currently sit in the middle of their online relationships. Solving data security may first require a deliberate move from what we call the centralized trust model to one of decentralized trust. In an age when technology is supposed to be lowering the cost of entry, the outdated centralized trust-management system has proven expensive and restrictive (think about the 2 billion people in the world who are unbanked). It has also failed—spectacularly. Even though the world spent an estimated $75 billion on cybersecurity in 2015, according to estimates by Gartner, total annual losses from online fraud theft were running at $400 billion that year, said Inga Beale, CEO of British insurance market Lloyd’s of London. If you’re alarmed by that figure—and you ought to be—try this one on for size: $2.1 trillion. That’s the estimated fraud loss Juniper Research came up with after extrapolating from current trends into the even more digitally interconnected world projected for 2019. To put that figure in perspective, at current economic growth rates, it would represent more than 2.5 percent of total world GDP.
Michael J. Casey (The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything)
Nathanael hadn’t delivered any specific message; the angel’s parting words, which had boomed out across the entire visitation site, were the typical Behold the power of the Lord. Of the eight casualties that day, three souls were accepted into Heaven and five were not, a closer ratio than the average for deaths by all causes. Sixty-two people received medical treatment for injuries ranging from slight concussions to ruptured eardrums to burns requiring skin grafts. Total property damage was estimated at $8.1 million, all of it excluded by private insurance companies due to the cause.
Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)
Nazarbayev had learned that Westerners could be just as adept as he was in turning money into power and power back into money. Some, like Dick Evans and Jonathan Aitken, went about it from positions at the top of business and government. Others had to wait until they had left office to monetise their access and influence. They had to get theirs from what they called ‘consultancy’. Blair was said to have made $1 million from Ivan Glasenberg’s Glencore for three hours spent talking the Qatari prime minister out of blocking its merger with a mining company. JP Morgan, the Wall Street bank that had won the financial crisis, retained him too, as did a Swiss insurance company, the government of Kuwait and Abu Dhabi’s investment fund. Some days he was a business consultant, others a philanthropist, or a governance guru, or a peacemaker. His money sat in a web of companies that almost rivalled the complexity and opacity Nazarbayev’s Swiss bankers had devised. By one estimate, less than a decade after he resigned as prime minister, his fortune stood at $90 million.
Tom Burgis (Kleptopia: How Dirty Money is Conquering the World)
a basic income is arguably more justified by the need for economic security than by a desire to eradicate poverty. Martin Luther King captured several aspects of this rather well in his 1967 book, Where Do We Go from Here? [A] host of positive psychological changes inevitably will result from widespread economic security. The dignity of the individual will flourish when the decisions concerning his life are in his own hands, when he has the assurance that his income is stable and certain, and when he knows that he has the means to seek self-improvement. Personal conflicts between husband, wife and children will diminish when the unjust measurement of human worth on a scale of dollars is eliminated.15 Twentieth-century welfare states tried to reduce certain risks of insecurity with contributory insurance schemes. In an industrial economy, the probability of so-called ‘contingency risks’, such as illness, workplace accidents, unemployment and disability, could be estimated actuarially. A system of social insurance could be constructed that worked reasonably well for the majority. In a predominantly ‘tertiary’ economy, in which more people are in and out of temporary, part-time and casual jobs and are doing a lot of unpaid job-related work outside fixed hours and workplaces, this route to providing basic security has broken down. The
Guy Standing (Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen)
It has been estimated by industry insiders in the US that relying on independent contractors rather than employees can lower direct business costs for companies by as much as 25 per cent. At least some of those costs are being offloaded onto the state, and by extension onto taxpayers and other workers. Due to the paucity of many people's earnings in the 'gig' economy, signing on for social security when you fall ill is sometimes the only option. Thus the taxpayer is essentially out of pocket twice over – first as employer national insurance contributions fall, and secondly as this casual workforce turn to the state to survive.
James Bloodworth (Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain)
The earth and all life upon it endured and was devastated by what can only be described as a globally distributed firestorm at the onset of the Younger Dryas around 12,800 years ago. In this planetary debacle, 10 million square kilometers of trees and other plant matter burned. To put that in perspective, the United Kingdom was in a state of traumatic shock in late June and early July 2018 after 4,942 acres of Lancashire moorland were consumed by wildfires. That's an area of just 20 square kilometers, but firefighters and emergency services from seven counties were utterly overwhelmed by the blaze and the military had to be brought in to assist. Meanwhile, a report in the Sacramento Bee dated July 2, 2018, opined that California's wildfire season had started early, with two 'major fires' already fought at huge expense and requiring evacuation of local residents. These two fires were estimated to have consumed 85,000 acres, which sounds an awful lot but in fact converts to just 344 square kilometers. The previous years, 2017, was California's most destructive wildfire season then on record, with a total of 1.25 million acres burned. The cost of dealing with the disaster, including fire suppression, insurance, and recovery expenditures, was estimated at US$180 billion. Yet 1.38 million acres converts to just 5,585 square kilometers--an insignificant fraction (around 0.05 percent--that is, a twentieth of 1 percent) of the 10 million square kilometers destroyed in the Younger Dryas wildfires.
Graham Hancock (America Before: The Key to Earth's Lost Civilization)
In a 1999 report called “To Err Is Human,” the Institute of Medicine estimated that between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die each year because of preventable hospital errors—more than deaths from motor-vehicle crashes or breast cancer—and that one of the leading errors is wound infection.
Steven D. Levitt (SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance)
In a given year, it costs roughly $500 million to put them in every U.S. vehicle, which yields a rough estimate of $30,000 for every life saved. How does this compare with a far more complex safety feature like air bags? At an annual U.S. price of more than $4 billion, air bags cost about $1.8 million per life saved.
Steven D. Levitt (SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance)
And it would be startlingly cheap. IV estimates the “Save the Arctic” plan could be set up in just two years at a cost of roughly $20 million, with an annual operating cost of about $10 million.
Steven D. Levitt (SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance)
But it’s more than an absence of spouses that complicates caregiving and companionship later in life. People are having fewer children, if they have children at all. This, in combination with marriage trends, has increased the number of older adults with no close family ties—a group of people whom sociologists call “elder orphans,” “solo agers,” or “kinless.” Researchers estimate that one in five older adults is an “elder orphan” or at risk of becoming one, a figure that is likely to grow in coming years. Like marriage, having children isn’t a surefire insurance policy for caregiving. Adult children might not live close to their parents, or their kids might not have the capacity to help. Daughters, historically the country’s default caregivers of aging parents, can’t be taken for granted as a source of uncompensated caregiving these days. Far more women are in the paid labor force and would jeopardize their economic security or their family’s if they quit their jobs to take care of their parents. (Nevertheless, on average, daughters spend far more time caring for their aging parents than sons do.) Because Americans are having kids later in life, it’s common for children with aging parents to be raising children of their own at the same time; these are members of the so-called sandwich generation. Unable to manage both forms of care, these adults may focus on their kids and outsource care for their parents.
Rhaina Cohen (The Other Significant Others: Reimagining Life with Friendship at the Center)