Phyllis Borzi spent decades helping invent ways to protect people from unpleasant surprises in their health and retirement plans. Never did she run into the kind of resistance finance firms have mustered against her latest idea.
Banks and insurers are urging the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to give them a break when it comes to dealing with write downs of bad debt, particularly mortgage- backed securities that have little or no value.
The package arrived at Cindy Lohman’s home in Great Mills, Maryland, just two weeks after she learned that her son, Ryan, a 24-year-old Army sergeant, had been killed by a bomb in Afghanistan. It was a thick, 9-inch-by- 12-inch envelope from Prudential Financial Inc ., which handles life insurance for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
After Symetra Financial Corp. was formed in 2004, the life insurer set up shop in a 25-story glass tower outside Seattle, put its name on the building and pushed the state to adopt more favorable rules for its business.
Jane Pierce spent nine years struggling alongside her husband, Todd, as he fought cancer in his sinus cavity. The treatments were working. Then, in July 2009, Todd died in a fiery car crash. He was 46. That was the beginning of a whole new battle for Jane Pierce, this time with Todd’s life insurance company, MetLife Inc.