Investing in David v Goliath: hundreds of millions slosh into litigation finance funds


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If you think that’s weird, then get a load of this. Many investors are now buying out living persons Life Insurance, and then hoping that said person dies soon so the investors can collect. I ask you, what is the world coming to?


The cold, dead, invisible hand of the market?


billionaire-vs-billionaire kaiju battles


I hate to say it, but the practice of viatical settlements is decades old. There is a plus side: terminal patients can get some cash while they’re alive to throw one last party. Also, the practice is now heavily regulated, and requires licensing and accountability. It’s still ghoulish, but when did that ever stop us?


I believe this was a thing back in the early days of the AIDS epidemic. Andrew Sullivan defended the practice, if I’m not mistaken.


Yes, that’s where it started and I have no idea about Sullivan. Is he one of those people that if they like an idea it must be bad?


“Is he one of those people that if they like an idea it must be bad?”

I wouldn’t say that, but his endorsement is not automatically a point in favor.


Yup. See also reverse mortgages: paying old people to live in their houses until they croak or get so sick they have to move out.

Ghoulish from a certain perspective, but really not any more ghoulish than buying a life insurance policy in the first place, or buying a house sold by someone’s estate.


Comparing this to older traditions sort of misses a lot of context: money pressure is so much worse now than it used to be. In a similar way, gas frackers defend their practice as having gone on for decades, which conveniently obscures how much more pressure they can bring to bear these days, creating much more profit and chaos.


I’m trying to find a way to imagine this trending away from the evil and towards the good. It’s a tough sell. While this might offer a way for many concerned citizens to crowdsouce a beneficial ruling, it is every bit as likely to reward nefarious motives. You could argue that nefarious motives already have plenty of profit potential already, and John q public is more likely to take advantage of this, but it’s just as likely that big money interests will use this to nudge the courts in their preferred direction, by backing, say, slum lords and sweat shop owners.

If there’s merit to the idea of getting money out of electoral politics, then it should be just as valid an idea to get it out of the judicial branch as well. (And the civil forfeiture of the executive branch are already a known problem)


The sport of the future. ESPN will breathlessly cover McNikeSofts season ahead and whether if will finally defeat its age-old adversary DisSony.


Larry Lessig talks about fights being fought on four fronts: markets, code, law and norms.

But not building plausible electoral coalition. That’s not a front on which to fight. Because reasons.


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