Hartford Sucks Slightly Less Than Expected: Shares Rise

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Shares of the Hartford Financial Services Group rose sharply Monday after the big property and life insurance company asserted that it had more than sufficient capital, even if market conditions deteriorate further.
Hartford lost more than half its stock market value on Thursday after the company posted a surprisingly large quarterly loss, raising concerns on Wall Street that it might need to raise more capital. On Oct. 6, Hartford received a $2.5 billion cash infusion from the German insurer Allianz.

And what "please don't start a run" statement would be complete without this classic line?

The Hartford is financially strong and well-capitalized," Ramani Ayer, Hartford's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

Why is it that this same line has so badly failed many other firms and seems to have stabilized things for Hartford? Trust. Pure and simple. Firms store it up in good times with transparency, open access for investors, a lack of accounting complexity and bookkeeping games. They then get to cash it at times like these. At least, that's what their IR people are telling us.

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