In 2010 and 2011 when we last gathered some of the industry's most senior movers and shakers round a table in Monte Carlo, we heard progressively more frustrated tales of woe around the latter stages of the late soft market cycle.
Read on and you will see that 12 months later little has changed, except that this time the market satisfaction levels were in fact slightly higher than last year, when some of the industry's frustrations boiled over into these very pages!
This was probably because we've had a pleasant H1 and there has been better news on the ratings adequacy front - after all, cat has had a well-deserved bounce and while casualty hasn't reversed, it has at least probably stopped going down for the first time in eight years.
But all this is by the by.
For what surprised me about this gathering was that what I lobbed in as a warm-up question ended up taking up more than half of our allotted time.
This is the first time since perhaps 2008 that I've seen a room full of CEOs talk for quite so long and in such detail about the dangers inherent in the world economy and the possibility of their spilling over into the global (re)insurance sector.
This year there was palpable anxiety for the real economy, and real politics, from which we as an industry are often separated, but on which we ultimately depend.
The Eurozone crisis has been rumbling on for as long as this
painfully slow late soft market cycle, but it hasn't exerted
such a hold on our attentions before.
Perhaps this is because it was smaller nations that were badly affected and the global economy was still growing.
Now, the realisation that global economic growth is slowing and possibly stalling means that for the first time in a generation our sector is more worried by the potential for external shocks than its more traditional internal ones.
We hit a wall of worry over the potential for capital shocks if and when the bond vigilantes give "safe haven" sovereign debt the kicking many think it deserves.
However, on one solitary positive note, many thought that in the medium term the return to real interest rates that this bond rout would cause would more than offset the capital losses on investment portfolios.
It may be true that patience will always be rewarded in the end, but what emerged from our Roundtable was that it will be sorely tried in these depressing times - and many with a more pessimistic bent feel the rewards may not be worth the wait even when they do come.
It's clear that only hardcore contrarians are happy right now - and their traditionally thin numbers are dwindling fast.
Good night and good luck.
The Insurance Insider