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Fear was the most prevalent topic at this year’s IIABA conference in Washington, with inflation, the deepening recession, federal regulation, health care reform and swine flu among the bogeymen cited.

Indeed, the most popular giveaway at this year’s Big I exhibit area was not the iconic Aflac duck spiffily dressed in a businessman’s attire, but the bottles of hand sanitizer courtesy of Liberty Mutual, with most folks choosing the fist bump rather than shaking hands in these perilous times.

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