- In Lawrence Block’s “A Long Line of Dead Men,” the cunning detective eventually uncovers the motive for the killing spree: the club of 31 men were all part of a tontine.
- By the turn of the 20th century, according to a study in 1987 by Roger Ransom and Richard Sutch, two academics, as many as half of American households may have been saving for retirement via tontine insurance, a variation of the product that combines life insurance with a tontine.
- Tontines in their purest form had already been banned in Britain under the Life Assurance Act of 1774, primarily because of the perverse incentives inherent in a product that offers benefits when others die.
- A small but increasingly voluble group of academics, as well as some asset managers and actuaries, think that an adapted form of tontine might be just the product to provide insurance against the risk of outliving one’s savings, an issue with which retirement planners, corporations and governments around the world are struggling to cope.
- Electronic records make it easier to verify whether someone is dead; crowdfunding could help source a tontine pool; and the blockchain, a type of decentralised ledger, could anonymise it (and thus avert any murder plots).
WHEN members of a private club in Manhattan suddenly start dropping dead at an alarming rate, Matt Scudder, a private detective, suspects more might be at play than bad luck to explain the bizarre series of suicides and violent accidents.
@NeerajKA: How blockchain can prevent murder plots in your tontine
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