Disgrace insurance markets in everything

According to a Vulture article, Comenos then put together a squad of researchers in India to do the same thing: comb the trashiest ends of the web for iffy tweets, racial slurs and ill-advised sexts sent by about 27,000 prominent figures. These are then fed to a team of data specialists in Boston who crunch the numbers, based on 224 factors, and generate a “risk score” out of 100 for each person to gauge how close they are to getting permanently cancelled (shamed, rejected or boycotted for offensive behaviour or language).

Comenos’s company is called SpottedRisk: a “disgrace insurer” backed by Lloyds of London and touting for business from studios and brands badly burned by a celebrity shooting themselves in the foot – and damaging whatever project they were involved in. These losses have been substantial. Tiger Woods’ 2009 car crash, plus revelations about his infidelities, cost him $22m in brand contracts – and the shareholders of those brands up to $12bn. Meanwhile,#MeToo has escalated Hollywood blacklisting. After sexual abuse allegations against Kevin Spacey in 2017, Ridley Scott reshot the thriller All the Money in the World with Christopher Plummer in Spacey’s role – at a cost of $10m. Another Spacey movie, The Billionaire’s Boys Club, ploughed on with its planned release regardless of increasing public disgust at its star. It made £98 on its opening night.

SpottedRisk says its payout for Spacey would be about $8m – a number generated by combining his risk score with its “outcry index” to gauge public reaction. Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein would merit $10m payouts, while Roseanne Barr is relatively small change at $6m.

Here is the full Catherine Shoard article, via Michael, note that Donald Trump and R. Kelly are considered “uninsurable.”


Trump is the president - of course he is uninsurable, since this insurance is intended for private enterprises.

And besides, this insurance does not seem to cover buffoonery, such as the idea of a 21st Century Trump's icebox. Though if our President does manage to buy Greenland, his historical legacy is likely to be at least as large as Seward's.

Yeah, let's give Greenland, Puerto Rico, DC, and Guam statehood. Time to add more stars to the stripes.

Sounds about right for the Trump age - Greenland is not part of the U.S., the Puerto Ricans have not exactly expressed a clear desire to become a state, DC is constitutionally excluded from statehood, and Guam has a total population of around 160,000 which would be represented by two Senators.

Yep, perfect goal for the Trump Administration. Maybe they could just declare a national emergency so as to short circuit whatever 'technical' hurdles might be in the way to do whatever they want.

Liberals have apparently now been reduced to criticizing and mocking Trump for hypothetical actions he'll never actually take.

Right, do we criticise 5 year olds who say they want to fly? No, not even if they run around the house dressed like a super hero.

It's entirely appropriate to judge the President of the United States on the same low curve

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Well, I certainly agree that the Danes will not be selling Greenland to the U.S., and definitely not during Trump's planned visit to Denmark in 2 weeks.

On the other hand - 'President Trump has pushed top aides to investigate whether the U.S. government can purchase the giant ice-smothered island of Greenland, two people with direct knowledge of the directive said.

The presidential request has bewildered aides, some of whom continue to believe it isn’t serious, but Trump has mentioned it for weeks. The two people with knowledge of the presidential demand spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to reveal such White House planning.

As with many of Trump’s internal musings, aides are waiting for more direction before they decide how seriously they should look into it.

Among the things that have been discussed is whether it is even legal, what the process would be for acquiring an island that has its own government and population, and where any money to purchase a giant landmass would originate.' https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/08/16/america-first-greenland-second-is-trumps-latest-white-house-directive/

Whether he does attempt it is impossible to judge - after all, when Congress said no to funding Trump's border projects, he declared a national emergency.

Besides, this entire subject is hilarious, regardless of whatever political leanings one has. After all, what one would expect from electing a real estate developer as president?

"where any money to purchase a giant landmass would originate"

Why, the usual place: MMT.

I think Trump should be encouraged in this adventure. It's a wonderfully literal attempt to make America Even Greater.

'I think Trump should be encouraged in this adventure'

Of course you do. Iit isn't your tax dollars that will be playing the role of OPM - which is what Trump has been using for decades, long before anyone coined the term MMT.

Since it was carved out of Maryland, D.C. citizens should be able to vote Maryland's Senators as well as the appropriate number of Representatives.

Another anonymous here. Greenland is an interesting idea, and it must be a recognition of global warming. It's the one thing that makes Greenland prime real estate.

I wonder what kind of meetings spurred the idea.

Anyway I support it the abstract, but believing in self-determination as I do, only if Greenlanders choose that future.

Ah, perhaps unsurprisingly, this just in:

Greenland government: "Greenland is not for sale”.

'“Of course, Greenland is not for sale,” Greenland’s government said in a statement, echoing earlier remarks by Greenland’s Foreign Minister Ane Lone Bagger.

In its statement, the government said it viewed the reports “as an expression of greater interest in investing in our country and the possibilities we offer.”

In Denmark, which counts the autonomous Greenland as part of its territory, the reaction to Trump’s apparent interest in the strategically located island was far less diplomatic with some politicians characterizing the idea as a joke.

“The whole idea that another country could buy Greenland — like it should be a colony — is so strange to us,” said Michael Aastrup Jensen, a member of the Danish parliament with the influential center-right Venstre party.

Another member of his party, former Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, chimed in on Twitter, writing: “It must be an April Fool’s Day joke."' https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/08/16/trumps-reported-interest-acquiring-greenland-triggers-colonialism-comparisons-backlash-europe/

It is no doubt intended as a bulkwork against Iceland.

Their steely grey eyed democracy must not spread.

Particularly when that steely grey eyed democracy is backed by some of the fiercest cod fishers on the planet-

Just don't mention the cod wars to the British.

Although it makes sense to comb through data from the web, surely this only reveals a fraction of the risk factors. Was Tiger Woods' affair something that would've shown up on the web prior to his traffic accident and subsequent revelation? If social media had been popular during Alex Rodriguez's heyday, would he have been tweeting about using PEDs, or keeping his use secret?

So I'd have to think that a lot of the worst risks are invisible to those web combers.

A couple of minor issues: what happens if the celebrity subsequently rehabilitates their image? Alex Rodriguez may've done that. Tonya Harding indices for both celebrity and scandal seem to fluctuate like a the price of a manipulated penny stock.

And what are the premiums being charged by the company? With payouts that can reach $8M or $10M, they presumably have to charge a hefty amount. OTOH with billions of dollars on the line if we believe the article, it could still be a worthwhile insurance purchase.

Shame this movie got no viewings: "Another Spacey movie, The Billionaire’s Boys Club, ploughed on with its planned release regardless of increasing public disgust at its star. It made £98 on its opening night" - without knowing anything about the movie, just the title, I bet it's based on a true story of some LA rich kids who had a membership initiation that you had to kill a homeless person to get into the club. Happened in the early 1990s, when I was in LA. Google it (I have not, but I have, as a chess player, a phenomenally good memory, just today I got back into C# programming and remembered how to set up INotifyPropertyChanged delegate to a WPF control populated by ObservableCollection of objects).

Perhaps Spacey can attempt a comeback now that the charges have been dropped.

If you haven't been shamed yet, you are likely not telling the truth.

I think also Elon Musk is also uninsurable after the "private funding secured" tweet a year ago.

Well, unemployable as chairman of the board at Tesla for another couple of years after that little 20 million dollar fine faux pas.

However, this sort of insurance seems more related to image than violating securities law, meaning that it is likely Musk's repeated pedo tweets that make him uninsurable. 'Elon Musk must defend himself in court after calling a diver who helped save Thai schoolboys trapped in a cave a paedophile, a Los Angeles judge says.

The federal court judge set a 22 October trial date.

Mr Musk is being sued by Vern Unsworth, who helped rescue the 12 boys from Thailand's Tham Luang caves last year.

The Tesla boss called Mr Unsworth a "pedo" in a Twitter post after the Briton said Mr Musk's attempt to help in the rescue was a "PR stunt".' https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48238576

The Vulture article is even better (more detailed) than the Shoard article: https://www.vulture.com/2019/08/spottedrisk-scandal-insurance-hollywood.html

In the U.S., courts will not enforce insurance contracts against certain risks because it would be against public policy to enforce them. For example, at one time most states would not enforce insurance contracts to cover punitive damages arising from the insured's negligence: punitive damages are meant to punish and to enforce the insurance contract and cover the punitive damages would vitiate the intent to punish the insured for the insured's conduct. "Disgrace" insurance is similar, in that the insurance is intended to cover not negligence but intentional misconduct: to enforce the insurance contract would encourage the misconduct. The "branding" insurance described in the blog post is intended to cover the type of misconduct that might well violate public policy, especially if the insured knew or should have known of the misconduct. Outside branding, consider Boeing. Should Boeing's insurer be required to cover punitive damages imposed on Boeing for Boeing knowingly producing and selling a defectively designed aircraft? Refusing to enforce the insurance contract for punitive damages would promote the public policy of punishing/discouraging the type of outrageous behavior at Boeing that resulted in hundreds of deaths.

Overstock.com's founder and CEO, Patrick Byrne, had a romantic relationship with Maria Butina, the Russian accused of being a Russian spy who pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and is serving an 18-month prison sentence. When news of the relationship broke this week, Overstock.com's share price fell more than 30% (but yesterday recovered about half the loss). According to Mr. Byrne, he was fond of Ms. Butina (who he said should be returned to Russia where she can become president one day), but his involvement with her was for the purpose of helping the FBI with their "Clinton Investigation" and Russia Investigation". The FBI refused comment. Mr. Byrne is 56, Ms. Butina is 30. According to Mr. Byrne, the "Sith Lord" is out to hurt his company. Mr. Byrne has recently been focused on developing a blockchain business called tZero, which he describes as the place where “blockchain meets capital markets.” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/15/business/overstock-paul-byrne-maria-butina-affair.html

To every* new social problem that inspires panic and cassandrizing, the cleverest solutions will be provided spontaneously by the markets. These solutions may not get there in time, might not be socially optimal, might generate some pretty crazy skewed incentives. But the economy’s ability to walk with society hand in hand into the future is always surprisingly impressive.

*where’s my carbon capture. And I’m pretty sure they promised my grandfather a jet pack that I still don’t have.

Trashy vapid celebrity "culture" is far overvalued in which case, correct?

What criteria might usefully measure the venom with which one celebrity non-entity or cult of celebrity goes after another?

How are perceptions of "celebrities in attack mode" governed--by cumulative vehemence or by duration of attack campaign?

Surely Donald Trump does not belong in this mere "celebrity" group, not after his astounding success (and near MR peace prize) in Korea.

No matter what Michelle Goldberg says .. who could possibly see broad disarray and dysfunction at this point!


So they comb the internet looking for dirt and then go to the celebrity and say, "That's a nice reputation you've got there. It would be a shame if something were to happen to it. Why don't you pay us to protect--er, insure, your reputation?"

Ah, another person familiar with Gibson's work.

Would you be willing

To underwrite

Disgrace insurance for

Donald J. Trump?

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