On debt row



Taiwan's life insurers - already crippled by years of severe negative carry - are being pushed to the limits of survival by the current global economic crisis. Amid the desperation, dubious practices have emerged, heightening systemic risk concerns and prompting some market participants to call for a mass culling of weak institutions. Others, meanwhile, see a lifeline for the industry in improved risk management and expanded use of derivatives.

"Of the 33 life insurance firms in Taiwan, only tho