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Allstate Turns Down Federal Bailout Funds

Allstate has become the second life insurance company to turn down the option of a federal bailout, The Post's David S. Hilzenrath reports.

Allstate said today that it will not accept the infusion of taxpayer funds for which it received preliminary approval last week.

"We applaud the administration's decision to include insurers in the U.S. Treasury's programs. Given Allstate's strong capital and liquidity positions, however, we will not participate in this program," chairman and chief executive Thomas J. Wilson said in a news release.

The Treasury Department last week tentatively offered infusions of bailout money to six life insurers. Ameriprise declined the offer, while Hartford welcomed it. Principal Financial Group, Lincoln Financial Group and Prudential have been less clear as to their interest. MetLife had said no thanks even before Treasury's action.

Of course, the world's largest insurer -- AIG -- has so far received more than $150 billion in direct and promised federal bailout money and is 80 percent-owned by the government.

Taking federal aid has become less attractive and less urgent for some insurers since they applied in the fall.

The pressure on Allstate, for example, has eased lately. The company recently raised $1 billion through a debt offering.

Recipients fear that government money could come with strings attached, such as restrictions on executive pay and heightened political exposure -- two things AIG has become acquainted with.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  May 19, 2009; 3:52 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: AIG, Allstate, Ameriprise, Hartford, Lincoln Financal Group, Principal Financial Group, Prudential, bailout  
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