George Clooney made a bad judgment in the movie “Perfect Storm” to venture way beyond his
normal fishing grounds and go the Flemish Cap. His good intention was to acquire a hold full of
swordfish and make a good profit. He and his crew had a record catch, but had to sail through
one of the worst storms on record to land their catch. The vessel, the crew and the catch were all
lost on the return voyage.
The marine insurance business has gone way outside of safe limits where underwriting is
concerned and are now attempting to return from the Flemish Cap. Our crew, lenders, insurance
agents, brokers, surveyors and especially underwriters all decided to take this enormous risk and
sail on through a Perfect Storm. I think this voyage was fueled by pure and unfettered greed and
the conscience decision to take enormous risks with the policy holders premiums, and really
messing with their share of the catch.
Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac both made loans with no security. Marine underwriters did
something very similar by insuring vessels that were not insurable and accepted high values
without even checking common published sources. Surveyors were one of the biggest enablers in
this floating Ponzi scheme.
It’s high time for us all to bet back to good business practices, cast our nets or set our long lines
in the safe waters of accountability and we can all make a reasonable profit share of the catch.
Neil K. Haynes