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Who should be compensated not part of inquiry – Penrose

Despite Equitable Life policyholders have suffered “much worry and distress” as well as “real financial hardship” from the insurers&#39 near collapse, Lord Penrose has not gone so far as to identify who is at fault and who should get redress.
In his report released today into what went wrong at Equitable, Penrose says it was no part of his inquiry to answer these two questions.
However, he does state he believes the regulatory system has failed policyholders in this case, but goes on to say the society itself was the “author of its own misfortunes” with the regulatory system failures being only secondary factors.
He says a hard lesson for many has been that it is the “nature” of a with-profits office that members have little recourse to anyone other than other members for recovery of their losses.
Penrose says: “It may be appropriate to comment that the practices of the society&#39s management could not have been sustained over a material part of the 1990s had there been in place an appropriate regulatory structure adapted to the requirements of a changing industry that happened to manifest themselves in an extreme form in the case of Equitable Life.”

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UK policy: Kate Moss and short-termism

“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” said supermodel Kate Moss, who is not often credited for her insights into policy making. Perhaps she should be. In politics, as in matters of diet, the course of action that is the best over the long term is often not the most desirable course of action in the short term. Add the instant gratification of the democratic electoral cycle and, instead of good policy making, you sometimes get the equivalent to a midnight binge in front of the fridge.

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