The American Risk and Insurance Association presents the Robert I. Mehr Award each year for the paper published ten years ago in The Journal of Risk and Insurance that has best stood the test of time. The evaluation of the articles is made by the editorial board of JRI.
The recipient of the 2019 Mehr Award is Scott Harrington for The Financial Crisis, Systemic Risk, and the Future of Insurance Regulation.
This article considers the role of American International Group (AIG) and the insurance sector in the 2007–2009 financial crisis and the implications for insurance regulation. Following an overview of the causes of the crisis, I explore the events and policies that contributed to federal government intervention to prevent bankruptcy of AIG and the scope of federal assistance to AIG. I discuss the extent to which insurance in general poses systemic risk and whether a systemic risk regulator is desirable for insurers or other nonbank financial institutions. The last two sections of the article address the financial crisis’s implications for proposed optional and/or mandatory federal chartering and regulation of insurers and for insurance regulation in general.