Larry Silverstein Makes Out Like a Bandit

Silverstein, Insurers Reach $2 Billion WTC Settlement (Update3)

By David M. Levitt

May 23 (Bloomberg) -- Developer Larry Silverstein and seven insurance companies agreed to a $2 billion settlement to end an almost six-year dispute over the value of the insurance policies covering the World Trade Center.

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and Insurance Commissioner Eric Dinallo announced the settlement at a news conference in New York City. The agreement will bring to about $4.6 billion the total insurance proceeds Silverstein and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will receive.

Silverstein, the leaseholder on the World Trade Center, had battled with insurance companies in federal court since a month after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks over how much the policies were worth. The settlement gives the developer and the Port Authority, owner of the trade center site, the cash to help rebuild the 16-acre property. The insurers have already paid about $2.5 billion.

``This is a monumentally important step forward,'' Spitzer said at the press conference. ``The essential fact is that there is now $2 billion net present value available for construction.''

`Fair' Settlement

The seven insurers in the settlement are Travelers Cos., Zurich American Insurance Co., Swiss Reinsurance Co., Employers Insurance Company of Wausau, Allianz Global Risks U.S. Insurance Co., Industrial Risk Insurers and Royal Indemnity Co., Spitzer said in the statement.

St. Paul, Minnesota-based Travelers is the second-largest U.S. commercial insurer. Swiss Reinsurance, based in Zurich, is the world's biggest reinsurer. Allianz, based in Munich, is Europe's largest insurer.

Insurance executives for the companies who settled today praised the agreement. The accord ``fairly and conclusively resolves all disputes involving Swiss Re's WTC coverage,'' Roger Ferguson Jr., chairman of Swiss Re America Holding Corp., said in a statement. The deal will finance the ``rebirth of lower Manhattan,'' he said.

Spitzer compared the insurance dispute to a Stanley Cup playoff hockey series in which the two sides play a ``very hard match . . . yet at the end of the series they always shake hands and move on.''

Silverstein, 75, had been seeking $7 billion from the insurers, double the limit of his policy, arguing that the two hijacked planes that crashed into the twin towers represented two attacks instead of one.

Litigation Ends

In 2004, two federal juries said Silverstein was entitled to a maximum of $4.6 billion in insurance payments. In two separate trials, federal juries found in 2004 that 10 of his insurers, including Swiss Re and a Lloyds of London syndicate, owed Silverstein only one payment, based on restrictive language in preliminary contracts they signed. Nine more insurers who had agreed to more vague policy language, including St. Paul Travelers, were found to owe double their policy limits.

In most cases, the contracts were preliminary because Silverstein had leased the trade center from the Port Authority just six weeks before the attacks and negotiations were still ongoing.

The federal litigation had continued for almost two more years as the two sides deliberated over the value of the 10- million square-foot office complex at the time of its destruction. The insurers who settled today had reserved the right to appeal the earlier jury decisions. The settlement will end all litigation on the issue, Spitzer said.

Legal Dispute

In a separate lawsuit in state court, Silverstein and the Port Authority last year sued Allianz AG and six insurers to force them to make payments directly to the bistate agency. That case arose after Silverstein ceded control of the Freedom Tower, the centerpiece of Ground Zero redevelopment, to the authority, in return for reduced rent payments.

Allianz and the others wanted the court to determine whether they were obligated to pay the authority, since their contracts were with Silverstein.

Silverstein remains in control of three other skyscrapers planned for the site, comprising 6.2 million square feet.

``The agreement today is a vital infusion of funds that will add further momentum to the rapidly accelerating rebuilding of Ground Zero,'' Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, said today in a statement. ``For too long, some insurers were running away from their responsibility to pay what they owed.''

The federal case was SR International Business Insurance Co. Ltd. v World Trade Center Properties LLC et al, 01-CIV-9291.

To contact the reporter on this story: David M. Levitt in New York at .

Last Updated: May 23, 2007 16:22 EDT

Anyone else but me...

going to send an email to David Levitt, the reporter on this story to provide a bit of "truthininess" regarding the destruction of the World Trade Center?

If so, his email is

"A patriot must be ready to defend his country against his government" - Edward Abbey

Lucky Larry can't take the money...

...with him to Hell.

Count me in

Sending him one today!

This makes me sick

I can't believe this can't be used as evidence in itself to provoke a criminal investigation... this whole thing makes me sick to my stomach... I'm doing everything I can to expose the truth to family and friends.... I like the comment about Larry not being to carry his money with him to hell.... they are all cold blooded murderers walking free!

I wish I believed in Hell..........

cuz there would be a 12 inch unlubed dildo waiting for Silverstein to sit on in perpetuity.

Sorry, I have had a long day. I may sound a bit.... perturbed.

"A patriot must be ready to defend his country against his government" - Edward Abbey

It's a downpayment on

It's a downpayment on insurance settlements yet to come. Let's see if Larry can insure against being tried for treason.

The Eleventh Day of Every Month

If the shit ever hits the

If the shit ever hits the fan you can expect Larry to take his loot and move to Israel. His pal Netanyahu will have a safe house in waiting.

The Eleventh Day of Every Month

Ummm.. Silverstein might move in with Bush....

at his new hacienda in Paraguay. Bush has a couple of extra bedrooms for his friends. :-)

"A patriot must be ready to defend his country against his government" - Edward Abbey

Blood money

Physics/Science/Mathematics do not lie, only people do.
9/11 was an INSIDE JOB

Money Making Opportunity

Since you guys claim to have irrefutable proof of insurance fraud, then why don't you take it to the insurance companies? They are listed right in there.

Travelers Cos., Zurich American Insurance Co., Swiss Reinsurance Co., Employers Insurance Company of Wausau, Allianz Global Risks U.S. Insurance Co., Industrial Risk Insurers and Royal Indemnity Co.,

Even if they only gave you a 10% finders fee, that would be $460 million bucks. Just think of all the David Ray Griffin books, DVDs and black "Investigate 9/11" t-shirts you could buy with that!

A LITTLE background

The insurance companies are the middlemen, taking in premiums from all their policy-holders and paying out the claims to those who have losses. The company's motives to find and fight fraud only go so far as their bottom line.

What's that you say, WTC losses were huge? Yes they were, but consider this - they themselves had "re-insurance" from even larger insurance companies. "Re-insurance" premiums on all insurance companies went up after 911, and guess who paid? Anyone with property. My house insurance increased, and the insurance trade publications blamed a lot of that on the re-insurance premium increases arising directly from 911. So you and I have paid money to compensate these insurance companies because they paid out to Lucky Larry.

Also consider this: it may sound a little (or a lot) nuts, but if "Lucky Larry" knew he might have trouble getting his insurance claims settled pre-911, what would he do? Think a little deeper. If (and this is hypothetical only right?) 911 was an inside job, wouldn't Lucky Larry want to think through how he's going to get his money out of these companies? Having an insurance policy is not enough if there is any hint of fraud after the claim. Now we all know that everyhing about 911 is on the up and up, the 911 commission said so after all, but if there were any clues left about that something about the attacks did not add up, Lucky Larry would need some kind of assurance that he could still collect. IF 911 was an inside job, there are massive implications with regard to WHO was involved. We do not know who. Mike Ruppert has laid out a great case against Cheney, for one. Maybe some one in the Carlyle group? You think anyone's father might have some influence there? Anyone else? Your guess is good as mine.

In any event, Lucky Larry would have made sure that some of those people had cleared it with the insurance companies not to mount too strong a defence in court against his claims. A simple hunting trip with the Dick might do it ("I could shoot buckshot into your face right now, or, you can agree to approve the claim for Lucky Larry and simply raise your premiums to cover the loss and you'll get some mighty fine treatment by the US government in the future.") Obviously that's just wild speculation, if I were a betting man I'd say prostitutes and blackmail were involved too.

Wild conspiracy theory? Yeah, it must be, that kind of stuff never happens in real life. Everyone in the US government and the CIA are a bunch of angels.


Munich Re is one of the largest of these re-insurance companies. And from what I've heard, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if this company was the one that delivers the coup de grace to the official story within the elite business circles of the world. According to my source, "These people have more money than God, and they were extremely interested in what I had to say."

The policy is generally to pay out right away 99% of the time for PR reasons, even while investigating still, and file a fraud claim when a solid case is prepared.

Larry can keep his blood money for as long as he's allowed to. Finders fee? Shove it up your ass you fascist clown.