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Rating System

Sharply criticized for having been slow to warn consumers about several big insurance company failures, A. M. Best Co. announced Friday an overhaul of its rating system to measure a firm's susceptibility to policyholder runs. Best said that in the future, its analyses of insurers will incorporate "a policyholder confidence factor that measures the 'run-on-the-bank' potential" for the firms it rates.
July 18, 1999 | ROBERT J. BRUSS
For the past 17 years, David Savageau has researched the best retirement havens in the United States. Even though his rating system has become a bit complicated, the results are fun and profitable to study, and this edition is by far his best. To determine the ratings, Savageau looks at crime rates, cost of living, medical care, income, sales and income taxes, climate, work opportunities, and recreation.
From MTV to "Tomb Raider" and Slim Shady to Buffy, watching what kids watch--and listen to and maneuver with a joystick--now seems half the job of parenting. To help set their course, many parents steer by the ratings attached like so many road signs to movies, television shows and video games. The ratings embody an unspoken compromise.
June 22, 1990 | KARI GRANVILLE
A New York Supreme Court judge took under consideration Thursday a request that the Motion Picture Assn. of America's 22-year-old movie rating system be overturned. In doing so Judge Charles Ramos will also consider whether the MPAA's ratings board treated Pedro Almovodar's "Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down" fairly when it assigned the film an X-rating last March.
April 22, 2011 | By Sharon Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
The Better Business Bureau of the Southland is getting another shakeup at the top. William Mitchell, who led the organization for 26 years, has quietly resigned — for a second time — after criticism over the group's rating system for businesses and his compensation, which exceeded $400,000 a year. Mitchell previously announced his resignation in December, only to rescind it in February. At the time, Mitchell said he was needed to fend off efforts by the national Council of Better Business Bureaus to take control of the local group.
January 21, 1990 | CHRIS WILLMAN
The Lady will indeed sing the blues if Diana Ross reads this exhaustively detailed, but unauthorized biography, which--for its many even-handed touches--paints an inevitably damning portrait of the ex-Supreme as an arrogant woman obsessively consumed with her own glamour and stardom. The trouble is that there's no classic tragedy built into the story: Ross, as portrayed by Taraborrelli (a former editor of Soul magazine), was unusually vain and ambitious even as a scrawny teen, so scant personality development emerges over the sprawling course of this 500-plus page rags-to-riches tale.
February 8, 2011 | By Sharon Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
The beleaguered head of the local Better Business Bureau, who resigned in December amid controversy over the group's letter-grade rating system and his high salary, has rescinded his resignation and vowed to fight to restore his reputation. William Mitchell, who made more than $400,000 in 2008 running the Southern California chapter, had resigned in the middle of an audit of the chapter by the National Council of Better Business Bureaus. But on Monday, he circulated an e-mail to his staff in which he criticized the Washington-based national council, saying executives were trying to take over the Southern California chapter and pack its board of directors with their own people.
December 27, 2010 | By Sharon Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
The head of the Southern California chapter of the Better Business Bureau has resigned amid a scandal over the group's letter-grade rating system and controversy over his high pay. William Mitchell, a 26-year employee of the Better Business Bureau of the Southland, is leaving because of health concerns, said Bob Richardson, the chapter's director of operations. The national organization, which issues ratings to businesses supposedly based on how fairly they treat consumers, has been criticized in recent months for giving businesses better grades if they became dues-paying members.
December 6, 2010 | By Christie Aschwanden, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Like those big-box stores that bank on holiday sales, charities too depend on end-of-the-year donations. Hence the current stream of seasonal solicitations. "If you just respond to these solicitations, you may not end up giving wisely or supporting your highest priority causes," says Bob Ottenhoff, president and chief executive of GuideStar, an organization that provides a repository of nonprofit information. Before you open your checkbook, Ottenhoff suggests you step back and ask yourself what really matters to you. Decide what you want your money to do. That goes beyond simply choosing a cause, such as cancer.
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