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Every year, the Reinsurance Rendez-Vous in Monte Carlo has a theme. In 2005 it was Hurricane Katrina, which was unfolding during the course of the meeting, for example. Last year it was Ike.

During my first Rendez-Vous in 2003, the talk was all about downgrades, mostly centered on the Swiss reinsurer Converium, which had been downgraded just days before the meeting and SCOR, which had previously been downgraded. There was serious concern about the viability of the companies.

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