In 2003, Texas Governor and current GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry was the driving force behind an insurance scheme to bet on the deaths of retired teachers while Wall Street turned a profit, according to information obtained by The Huffington Post.
According to Zach Carter and Jason Cherkis at HuffPo, Governor Perry and his office tried to convince retired teachers to accept a life insurance plan that would ultimately provide benefits to Wall Street and the state of Texas, rather than family members of the deceased.
According to the notes, which were authenticated by a meeting participant, the Perry administration wanted to help Wall Street investors gamble on how long retired Texas teachers would live. Perry was promising the state big money in exchange for helping Swiss banking giant UBS set up a business of teacher death speculation.
All they had to do was convince retirees to let UBS buy life insurance policies on them. When the retirees died, those policies would pay out benefits to Wall Street speculators, and the state, supposedly, would get paid for arranging the bets. The families of the deceased former teachers would get nothing.
The meeting notes offer the most direct evidence that the Perry administration was not only intimately involved with the insurance scheme, but a leading driver of the plan.
[…] The notes make clear that the governor’s proposal deliberately targeted the elderly. The state was only seeking to take out life insurance on people between the ages of 75 and 90. At a separate meeting five days later, the plan’s proponents discussed the “mental capacity” of these retirees to grant consent as one of three major technical obstacles to the plan, according to notes from that meeting.
At the first meeting, Morrissey said it could take 10 to 12 years for Texas to “earn” money from the scheme, but insisted the deal could be worth up to $700 million for the state if the retirement fund could sign up 40,000 retired teachers.
Perry and team even used a financial incentive to pitch this scheme, according to a meeting attendee:
The governor’s office was even prepared to put down a little cash up front. If retirees balked at the notion of the state profiting from their deaths, Perry’s budget men suggested they could be persuaded for the cost of a pair of shoes, according to the meeting notes. If a retiree signed a contract allowing the state’s teacher pension fund to buy life insurance on them, the governor was prepared to give them between $50 and $100.
The life insurance plan never happened and Perry’s office has since attempted to distance itself from the idea. However, as the article points out, the governor’s office “had not only endorsed the concept, but had already formulated a plan to implement it,” according to the meeting notes.
Read the full story at HuffPo.