September 30, 2004

SEC's XBRL Welcome a "Tipping Point"

The SEC announced its proposal to allow voluntary use of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) tags, for certain EDGAR filings, starting with the 2004 season. They are seeking comments on the Proposed Rule, and issued a Concept Release titled "Enhancing Commission Filings Through the Use of Tagged Data"

SEC Proposes Rule to Establish Voluntary Program for Reporting Financial Information on Edgar Using XBRL

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To quote from the SEC's Concept Release: "Data tagging uses standard definitions to translate text-based information, such as information contained in Commission filings, into files that can be retrieved, searched and analyzed through automated means. Data tags may enable investors and other market participants to more efficiently and effectively analyze data from different sources and automatically exchange financial information across various software platforms, including web services."

This SEC move may or may not address some of the challenges identified in a set of FAQs on XBRL from the perspective of corporate attorneys, posted by RR Donnelly at .

The XBRL initiative was launched in 1999 by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) as a means to provide open-standard data language tools to allow automated retrieval and management of financial data among disparate data systems. XBRL is a member of the family of eXtensible Markup Language (XML) that is designed especially for the handling of financial information.

XBRL is supported by XBRL International, the organization, and its nation-specific elements, which has introductory information about XBRL on its website.

Comments on this posting will be open until we start to get the usual spam. Trackbacks always welcome.

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September 23, 2004

Enterprise DRM for Financial Compliance

In addition to its use protecting entertainment media from piracy, Digital Rights Management (DRM) has long-term potential for automating compliance with new regulations applying to both banks, insurers, investment companies and to health care providers. These include HIPAA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley and Sarbanes Oxley. A conference coming in late October will focus on both of those applications, in two parallel tracks. Quoting from the topic descriptions at:

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Markets I: Financial Services
DRM technologies can enhance regulatory compliance and protection of highly sensitive information in financial services. In this panel, we'll discuss case studies and best practices for such applications as virtual deal rooms in mergers and acquisitions, NASD 2711 compliance for guarding against conflicts of interest among investment bankers and securities analysts, the Graham-Leach-Bliley Act for preserving confidentiality of consumer financial information, and Sarbanes-Oxley for integrity of accounting information.
Jude Umeh, Consultant, Spexx.Net Enterprises Limited
Jarad Carleton, Industry Analyst, Frost & Sullivan
Mitchell Jamel, CEO, DigitalRights LLC

Markets II: Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare
Biotech and pharmaceutical firms have a wide range of requirements for information security, ranging from IP protection in collaborations for drug development, contract manufacturing, clinical trials, and other areas; they are also subject to regulations under FDA CFR Part 11. Meanwhile, healthcare providers must protect patient records throughout treatment and insurance processes, as well as comply with regulations under HIPAA. In this panel, we discuss how DRM technologies complement existing techniques for addressing these concerns, and how DRM can help these organizations implement enterprise-wide approaches rather than the current silo approaches to protecting patient records and corporate IP.
Scott Selby, Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.

Please let me know if you are aware of online resources relevant to the use of DRM in financial services and health care regulatory compliance, at: douginhartford "at"

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September 10, 2004

Frankel Vatican Contact Sentencing

Emilio Colagiovanni, a Vatican contact of Marvin Frankel, will be sentenced in New Haven, according to the Williamson County Review Appel. In 2002, Colagiovanni pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering in connection with Frankel's looting of Franklin American Life Insurance Co. and several other insurance companies of $200 million. Others involved in the scheme included John Hackney, Gary Atnip, and attorney John Jordan. Atnip is serving a 10-year term. Jordan was sentenced to five years. Hackney and Frankel have yet to be sentenced, all according to the Review Appeal.

Frankel's Vatican contact to be sentenced Thursday on The Review Appeal

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September 02, 2004

Storms Test Insurers Forecast Technology

The "one-two" punch of Hurricanes Charley and Frances will test technology used by insurers to forecast insured losses from catastrophic storms. Some recent commentary and information about such technology includes the following links. If you know of additional technology that's proven useful or is promising, or critical analyses of such technology, please comment, trackback or email me at: doug "at" This implies no endorsement of any product or report mentioned below, and I have no affiliation or relationship with the vendor of any product mentioned. Comments will be closed soon to reduce spam.

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"While nobody can eliminate natural or market forces, insurers are turning to business geographics to minimize their impacts in underwriting, ratemaking, risk concentration analysis, marketing and disaster recovery."
This 2002 article mentions:

  • Geographic Underwriter's System (GUS), marketed by Insurance Services Office (ISO), in part through Equifax Insurance Services;
  • Data from Environmental Risk Information & Imaging Services (ERIIS);
  • Atlas GIS from Strategic Mapping Inc.;
  • MicroVision-Insurance, an Equifax proprietary segmentation system;
  • Claritas Financial Services Group's insurance-specific data, PRIZM and Compass Mapping Systems.
    Diane L. Oswald, "Geographic Technology Trends in Insurance: An Overview" (Business Geographics, 2002).

    "StormCenter Communications, Inc. and Accurate Environmental Forecasting, Inc. have teamed up to deliver a new hurricane forecast model that has been used at the National Hurricane Center and in some selected private industry locations for more than 5 years. * * * A key differentiator with the RealTrack(TM) Hurricane Model is the production of combined AEF/AIR real-time loss estimates which provide the most accurate assessment of potential risks for all landfalling hurricanes along the U.S. coastline."
    "Experts Team Up to Deliver the RealTrackTM System via the Web" (Envirocast 2003).

    "[S]kilful long-range forecasts of seasonal US hurricane activity could be used either to create an additional profit margin for a seller of reinsurance coverage or to reduce costs for buyers of coverage. * * * Several ideas and developments have been combined to demonstrate the business relevance of seasonal US hurricane forecasts for the first time."
    Niklaus Hilti, Mark Saunders and Benjamin Lloyd-Hughes, "Forecasting Stronger Profits" (GlobalRe, 2004)(PDF).

    "Founded in 1987, AIR pioneered the probabilistic catastrophe modeling technology that revolutionized the way insurers, reinsurers and financial institutions manage their catastrophe risk. Our leading edge models of global natural hazards, which form the basis of our software systems, enable companies to identify, quantify, and plan for the financial consequences of catastrophic events."
    "About AIR," a subsidiary of Insurance Services Office (ISO).

    "The AHC [Atlantic Hurricane Catalog] is a new hurricane event set that brings unparalleled technological sophistication to the science of hurricane risk assessment."
    "Incorporating Climate Variability and Numerical Weather Prediction Technology into Hurricane Risk Assessment" (Accurate Environmental Forecasting, Inc., 2004)
    "AEF's sophisticated modeling technology is coupled with intuitive interactive visualization software to allow rapid and effective use of our forecasts. "
    "Hurricane Modeling > Overview" (Ibid)

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