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Archive for August, 2012

My wife and I just watched a fascinating movie, “Lloyd’s of London,” made in 1936. From what I’ve read over the years, the story contained much information that was factually accurate. The movie starred Freddie Bartholomew (at the time, the 2nd highest paid child star in Hollywood, behind only Shirley Temple), Tyrone Power, and Madeleine Carroll. Bartholomew actually got top billing over Power, who, in his first starring role, played Bartholomew’s character as an adult. But once the movie hit theaters, Power, 22 at the time, became an overnight sensation. For some reason, I did not recall seeing Ms. Carroll before, but she was stunning, and at the time, she was the highest paid female actress in Hollywood.

The movie traces the development of insurance in England in the late 1700’s. Lloyd’s was a coffee house where information was exchanged. Men began to share in the risk that ships encountered bringing cargo to and from England. When a group of men, or a “syndicate,” agreed to share part of the risk, they would write their names under the list of the ship’s cargo. Hence the term “underwriter.”

There are several other familiar faces in the movie. The story and the acting are both well worth watching, especially for anyone interested in history and/or finance. Here is a link to imdb’s information on the movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0027902/.

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