Ethics and the ‘life settlement’ industry

Tues, Aug 21st 2012 – The Irish Times

Human life is being monetised in a very crude way, writes JOE HUMPHREYS

IMAGINE IF a loved one of yours died and this triggered a payment to an investor who had been gambling on his or her premature death. How would you feel? This isn’t science fiction. It is the reality of the “life settlement” industry, a growing business which is testing the boundaries of financial ethics.

The practice involves acquiring life assurance policies and then trading them in the same way you would savings bonds. The only difference is profits are maximised if your bonds “mature” quickly – ie if the people in your life settlement portfolio die sooner than expected.



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