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Jim means negative cost of float, i.e. underwriting profits.

My estimate last year was $1.3 bn, which was $20 bn in the preceding 9 years (even with Katrina and Rita) but -$7 bn 10 years before, i.e. 2001. One year later, the last 10 years are looking good, but to be conservative we should probably keep that bad year in the mix.

Even so, $1.5 bn pre-tax I think is a closer to the truth than zero (Buffett's implicit number). It's good to be conservative, but for an insurer with consistently profitable underwriting to leave that out is overdoing it, in my opinion.

Regards, DTM
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