Clinton and Hartwig Opening Highlights of PLUS Conference

In the wake of the global financial crisis and amid the unraveling of numerous financial scandals including Madoff, Stanford and Galleon, the 22nd International PLUS Conference in Chicago this week would be anything but dull. Add to the mix an opening day keynote by former President Bill Clinton and a forecast on the industry by I.I.I. president Dr. Robert Hartwig and you have the ingredients for a showstopper. In a speech that spanned major topics such as global warming, healthcare reform, and the struggling economy to name just a few, Clinton gave the crowd of professional liability insurance executives and media (seated in the back row of the conference hall) something to think about. A key theme to come from Clinton and one that is very pertinent for insurers is the interdependence of the world we live in. Interdependence brings both benefits and risks, Clinton noted: “Interdependence means being tied together. You can’t get away from the consequences of each others’ actions and you can’t get a divorce.† He said it was important to create a world of positive interdependence. In other words, we have to work together to build a better future. Ahead of Clinton, I.I.I. president Dr. Robert Hartwig gave a wide-ranging presentation on the impact of the global financial crisis and U.S. recession on the property/casualty industry. Dr Hartwig concluded that regulatory overreach, the erosion of tort reform and the long-term reduction in investment earnings are some of the major threats facing the p/c industry going forward.

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