AIG's former CEO gets revenge in new book

Maurice 'Hank' Greenberg casts himself as a brilliant hero who was abused at the hands of overzealous regulators.

By Kim Peterson Feb 5, 2013 5:53PM
Former American International Group (AIG) Inc. CEO Maurice 'Hank' Greenberg in June 2009 (Seth Wenig/AP Photo)Remember American International Group (AIG), that little company that was run nearly into the ground and had to be saved with a $182.5 billion taxpayer bailout?

The company's former CEO, Hank Greenberg, remembers it all a little differently in his new book, "The AIG Story." Bailout? What bailout? His theory on what saved AIG is this: "It was saved only by the loyalty and tenacity of its valiant workforce," he writes, according to Bloomberg.

The 87-year-old Greenberg is still stewing over the bailout. In fact, he's suing the government, claiming that the bailout violated the constitutional rights of shareholders.

Through his asset management company Starr International, Greenberg owned 12% of AIG before the bailout. He's particularly upset with the way the government swapped a block of preferred stock for 562.9 million common shares. Greenberg also didn't like the 14.5% interest rate the government charged on its loans to AIG.

He was forced out of AIG in 2005 as government regulators started looking closely at him and the company, Bloomberg reports. It seems like Greenberg is out for a little revenge with his book, and casts himself as a "brilliant businessman, an alert risk-taker and a victim of overzealous regulators and ungrateful former colleagues," according to Bloomberg's Susan Antilla.

The core of the book is based on Greenberg's belief that all would have been better if AIG's board hadn't caved in to Eliot Spitzer, who was New York's attorney general at the time, writes Aaron Elstein at Crain's New York Business. Elstein describes a disconnect between how Greenberg sees things and how the rest of us see them.

Bloomberg's Antilla calls the book "328 pages of finger-pointing and self-congratulation." It's in stores for $30, and though you might want to look for it in the fiction aisle, it probably won't be there.

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7Comments
Feb 5, 2013 7:22PM
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YES..no other countries have them, they just round things up...its a waste of money!!
Feb 6, 2013 2:16PM
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"Please. You give me far too little credit!" - Captain Zap Brannigan.

 

Or was it Hank Greenberg?...

Feb 5, 2013 7:24PM
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me alegro por ellA PERO Ma si ayudara a muchos ninos pobres que no tienes para comer y donar un poco de ese dinero a los ninos pobres.
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