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Trading Multi-Line Insurers Through a Government Shutdown

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The U.S. economy faces a potential dual crisis as the calendar shifts to October. The Republicans in the House want to defund Obamacare, which begins to take effect on Oct. 1, and they want to attach reforms and budget cuts to raising the debt ceiling. Estimates are that the government will run out of money to pay its bills around Oct. 17.

Midnight tonight is the deadline for Congress to sign a budget deal. Without a compromise federal agencies will temporarily close and non-essential government workers would not report for work on Oct. 1.

Raising the debt ceiling is the second issue as the current borrowing limit is $16.7 trillion will run try on Oct. 17. In my opinion a debt ceiling is meaningless as it should include the $6 trillion debt and mortgages of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that the U.S. government now backs under conservatorship.

If the Federal Reserve is allowed to expand its balance sheet without limit, why can't the U.S. government issue unlimited debt? I guess the positive of a shutdown will be an automatic tapering of QE3 and QE4 as the Fed will not have any new securities to buy.

The Republicans and Democrats have drawn a line in the sand with regard to these issues and both sides need to give in a little to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1 and again around Oct. 17.

In my judgment a shutdown will not result in a default on U.S. debt, as the U.S. Treasury will still be collecting revenue and their top priority will be to pay off maturing securities and to make interest payments.

My focus today is profiling eight companies that are in the multi-line insurance industry, as these companies are not only affected by Obamacare, but also have tentacles in government programs such as Medicare.

My suggested strategy for investors in these companies is to reduce holdings and then add a buy-and-trade strategy around these core holdings to take advantage of market volatility as the market ebbs and flows in anticipation of, or in reaction to a government shutdown. All eight companies have hold ratings according to www.ValuEngine.com.
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