Hearing the message

Aaron Woolner

Observers of the European insurance industry are used to swallowing an alphabet soup of acronyms; recent months have seen the cuddly term Piigs added to the more functional lexicon such as Ceiops, Eiopa and CRD. As the economies of Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain continue to be buffeted by the credit crunch, attention has focused on the potential impact any sovereign downgrade would have.

For insurers with their extensive government and corporate bondholding, the potential impact of a

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