Now insurance companies are lining up for TARP funds:
Prudential Financial Inc. and Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. are among six insurers granted access to U.S. aid as the government moves to shore up an industry battered by investment losses.
Hartford won preliminary approval for $3.4 billion in capital from the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Connecticut-based insurer said yesterday in a statement. Prudential, Allstate Corp., Principal Financial Group Inc. and Ameriprise Financial Inc. also are eligible for funds, said Andrew Williams, a spokesman for the Treasury. Lincoln National Corp. said it may receive $2.5 billion.
Life insurers have clamored for six months to get into a program that the nation’s biggest banks are trying to flee to avoid government restrictions. Insurers need the money to quell doubts about whether they can pay claims and retirement stipends after falling stock and bond markets depleted capital.
One has to wonder who else will show up at the taxpayer door with this news. They claim it is to reassure claimants and investors but to me this news puts focus on yet another sector where one didn't suspect there was a problem. Once again we hear too big to fail as the justification.