Ellen Bennett reviews the week on insurancetimes.co.uk

This week, the internet came into its own. All eyes were glued to the screens as the headlines appeared, each more unbelievable than the last. With the daily papers outdated even before they were printed, the news websites were an invaluable resource.

And Insurancetimes.co.uk led the way, with a series of breaking news stories following the fate of AIG, which teetered on the brink of collapse before being rescued by the US government in an unprecedented deal that saw the world’s biggest insurer effectively nationalised.

Meanwhile, US investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, HBOS and Lloyds TSB agreed a merger to save the former as its stock price plummeted and, at the time of writing, even the mighty Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs were mulling over mergers. The Chinese curse, “may you live in interesting times” comes to mind.

Unsurprisingly, AIG dominates the list of most read stories. The breaking news stories tracking the developments, from the insurer’s initial plans to raise cash through an asset sale to the eventual takeover, were read avidly.

The decision of Bluefin boss Stuart Reid to stop placing new business with the insurer was the third most popular story of the week, demonstrating brokers’ concerns over how they should react to this crisis, and what advice they should offer to worried clients. This was also the subject of last week’s front page story on Insurance Times, the online version of which also featured on the most read list.

Given the turbulence of the financial sector, analysis and insight was in high demand, with an insight into AIG’s future coming in at number five on the most read list.


The most read stories this week on insurancetimes.co.uk:

1. AIG in emergency assets sale
Worlds largest insurer to sell 20bn dollars (10.8bn pounds) in assets in scramble to avoid downgrade.

2. AIG seeks emergency funding package
Wall Street crisis hits worlds largest insurer.

3. Bluefin suspends AIG new business
Chief executive of AXA-owned broker says position is under daily review.

4. Brokers poised to pull out of AIG as it fights for life
UK industry watching closely as clients fear a repeat of the Independent Insurance fiasco and Wall Street trembles.

5. AIG to be biggest run-off in history?
Market rumours that AIG will be split up.