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William Byrnes (Texas A&M) tax & compliance articles

Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street Journal’

Life Settlement Provider Accused of Falsifying Life Span Reports

Posted by William Byrnes on March 10, 2011

One of the U.S.’s oldest life settlement companies, publically traded Life Partners Holdings, Inc., is being investigated by the SEC for falsifying life span reports used to sell the company’s life settlement products.  Falsified life spans can leave investors on the hook for additional premiums over the insureds’ remaining years when insureds outlive the firm’s life-span estimates.

The question for Life Partners Holdings shareholders and customers is whether the Life Partners investigation will go the way of Mutual Benefits Corp, a life settlement company that sold fractional interests in life insurance policies. Mutual Benefits was the subject of a similar SEC investigation concerning falsified life expectancies that ultimately led to the company’s collapse.  Could Life Partners be next?

Read this complete analysis of the impact at AdvisorFX (sign up for a free trial subscription with full access to all of the planning libraries and client presentations if you are not already a subscriber).


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Change in Muni Bond Market Could Help Producers

Posted by William Byrnes on February 19, 2011

The Wall Street Journal has recently noted that significant withdrawal of funds from municipal bonds throughout the country totaled over $4 billion in a one week period. [1] According to some estimates, the withdrawal accounts for only one tenth of one percent of the overall muni bond market.  [2] Yet, the numbers are record breaking.  The withdrawal is the largest from the muni bond market since last November, reports the Wall Street Journal.

However, the trouble seems to have started well before Meredith Whitney appeared on “60 Minutes”  in late December of last year when she call for the future “collapse” of the muni bond market.  In her opinion, the state and local governments will be forced to default on obligations made to bond holders because the governmental entities are quickly running out of liquidity.  Nevertheless, the muni bond numbers reflect the ”10th straight week of outflows, which total roughly $20.6 billion.” [3]

Whitney though may have created in the muni bond market what is now known as Gladwell’s “Tipping Point”.  Read the full analysis at AdvisorFYI

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