American Names Association, Inc.

Post Office Box 9940, Rancho Santa Fe, California 92067
Telephone: (858) 759-2288 Fax: (858) 756-1070

January 12, 2000

Letter to the Editor
The Guardian Newspaper

We have noted a marked increase in visits to our web site ( since you published "Lloyd's on the rocks" by Godfrey Hodgson this past Tuesday. I have emphasized our correct address above since some of your readers may have had trouble reaching us due to the peculiar absence of diacritical marks in web site addresses.

The cover-up of Lloyd's fraudulent activities is the great untold story of our time. Mr. Hodgson's story rightly emphasizes the fact that Lloyd's insiders failed to set aside adequate reserves and failed to disclose to investors, regulators and the world that £ billions in asbestos liabilities were known to exist in many Lloyd's syndicates by at least 1980.

What is not mentioned, however, is that these misdeeds were aided and abetted, wittingly or unwittingly, by U.K. government officials at the highest level. M.P.'s granted Lloyd's self-regulation and immunity from most lawsuits; DTI officials turned a blind eye to obvious deficiencies in reserves for U.S. non-marine business. Successive Prime Ministers set policy that prompted lower-level officials to overlook Lloyd's wrongdoing; the City of London Serious Fraud Office's best men pretended to be Gilbert & Sullivan cops who just couldn't get their man and judges permitted Lloyd's to unilaterally change contract terms.

It is simply not believable that Lloyd's executives were so clever that they "put the slip" on everyone from politicians to regulators to competitors to investors without any assistance from the British establishment.

Mr. Hodgson is correct when he states that "Lloyd's failed to understand . . . the U.S. courts' attitude (toward) environmental dangers and the value of individual lives…" To this day, Lloyd's has also failed to understand the attitude of American Names who won't submit to extortion and accept Lloyd's ruinous and tricky settlement schemes, as a matter of principle.

Standing on principle is obviously not something Lloyd's executives know anything about.

Jeffrey C. Peterson
Executive Director

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