I was more than a little surprised to see Met Life weighing in on the side of the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the SEC's move with Rule 151A to regulate some indexed annuities as securities.
Maybe I shouldn't have been. But truth is I can't recall one instance in the long life of the Peanuts strip where Snoopy was shown biting someone. This move of Met's strikes me as being characteristic of quite another animal. Bam! Before you know it the thing's got its pointy sharp little teeth in your ankle and won't let go.
Met's amicus brief, wherein it supported the SEC, said "federal regulation of indexed annuities as securities is an appropriate exercise of the SEC's rulemaking authority."
Met notes in the brief that it does not sell equity indexed annuities, but does sell variable annuities, however. Not selling EIAs, of course, gives it the perfect right to opine on their regulation, this being America after all.
Some investors may confuse EIAs with VAs, Met says. "Inadequate regulation of indexed annuities thus tarnishes the reputation of other annuity issuers, including MetLife and the insurance industry as a whole."
I don't want to leave the impression that Met is being negative, however. Further down in the brief it becomes clear that Met's argument for SEC oversight of EIAs is really based on a feeling of sharing. That is to say, since variable annuities are in part regulated by the SEC, then it is just not fair to deprive index annuities of enjoying the same privilege.
In other words, since my ox has been gored, so should yours.
I don't know how long Met Life is wedded to Snoopy as its representative icon. But if it ever wants to consider some other Peanuts characters, here are a couple of suggestions coming out of this amicus brief.
Good old Charlie Brown himself might be suitable since, in my opinion, Met really dropped the ball here.
But the character that probably best reflects this bit of opportunistic slamming is, of course, Lucy. A far cry from Mother Met of days gone by, to be sure, but then nothing's what it used to be.