Greenberg Fights Back; Ousted AIG Exec Defends Accounting and Challenges Current Management

August 4, 2005

  • August 5, 2005 at 11:32 am
    jg says:
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    What has happened with AIG has hurt the entire insurance community. I don’t understand why Greenberg can’t just let AIG do what they need to do so everyone can get past these issues and move on.

  • August 5, 2005 at 11:35 am
    Defense says:
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    Wouldn’t you try to defend yourself if you were charged of a crime and your reputation damaged?

  • August 5, 2005 at 11:48 am
    jg says:
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    He is not just defending himself. He is criticizing decisions they are currently making.

  • August 5, 2005 at 12:25 pm
    Peter Polstein says:
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    Come on, everyone knows that a good defense is a strong offense. AIG has been playing games with reinsurance, reserves and accounting for two decades or more. Between Coral, Richmond etc. there will be a period of discovery, and then we’ll all find out what many have believed for years is in fact truth.

    AIG isn’t alone, this industry which has been built on trust and integrity is now facing truth. It’s been an industry of terms foreign to almost everyone, including the auditors who despite their knowledge of accounting principles have to rely on the truths of those that they audit. Does anyone truly believe that the so called experts of the investment community can really understand a “yellow peril” when they read one. This is an industry in turmoil, and when it’s all shaken out there will be some changes in the methodology of auditing and reporting.

    The unfortunate collateral damage to all of this, is the broad brush that those of us who have been in this business as hard working professionals have been and will become a part of the overall reaction to the greed, misjudgements and criminal actions of others.

    Let no one think otherwise, the finalization of all of this is still in the future, and the results are not going to be pretty.

  • August 5, 2005 at 2:40 am
    jim howse says:
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    It is far from over. It stinks to the core. It is epidemic and endemic. It is itra-company and inter-company. It is wholesale and retail. It is a cross section of the new morality. The crime is not the act it is getting caught in the act. Wrong! The act and the actors will get their due. Let Greenberg spit out his bile and take the other bad guys and gals down with him. The industry is strong enough to weather the storm but it will be ugly, long and painful.

    Jim Howse

  • August 6, 2005 at 9:33 am
    Joe K. Longley says:
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    The morality play that is currently in progress features two great all-American values–GREED and FEAR.

    The Greenberg “Whitepaper” results from the latter. In Texas there is an old saying–supposedly attributed to LBJ–

    “Don’t write when talkin’ will do–

    And don’t talk when a wink will do.”

    joe@joelongley.com

  • August 10, 2005 at 2:49 am
    Likwid Al says:
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    Greenberg may be a tough guy, but I can’t think of many things more obvious in this world than how he NEEDS to “go to the mat” on this one, to defend his rep. Nor few things more inevitable. It’s about the legacy of his genius (a term used by an awful lot of people for Hank), and near to 40 years of non-stop proving that. Now Spitzer comes along, and brings that all to a crushing halt. You bet Greenberg will demand his day in court, plus put out a “White Paper” ! They dared to suggest not only that he did bad, but that he did wrong, so he will not be blocked from trying to vindicate himself plus mortifying his former colleagues who had the effrontery not to back him and to suggest he could make a wrong move in his empire of the insurance biz. Come to think of it, what really ARE the odds that Hank Greenberg could have made a technical and illegal mistake in this business? I think they’re very long, and that there’s more likely a strong case to be made for how current management was panicked into dumping Greenberg in this Bush-era corporate scandal disaster atmosphere. I’m guessing Greenberg-haters saw an opportunity in what was probably MRG yet again pushing the legal envelope – exploring new, unsettled legal areas in a hunt for profit opportunity – which is usually where he plays historically anyway. I also think MRG isn’t tempted by greed, and, beyond issues of sensitivity or gentility, isn’t ethically challenged; he’s not sleazy, in other words, just hard-working, smart-thinking, and tough, and interested in the win, aware there’ll be losers. Besmirching his legacy, though, makes him want to exact retribution, and I think he wants to show he was right, and that his former cohorts were incredibly foolish. They’d better get ready, if it’s not too late already.

    Likwid Al

  • August 26, 2006 at 2:45 am
    Charles says:
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    To those idol worshipers of \”Hank,\” perhaps you are afraid of recognizing the foolishness and culpability of your own self to have believed that MRG is some sort of heroic business genius. Whether or not you say he was \”merely\” consistently \”pushing the envelope\” in terms of what he could get away with legally – as if this were some sort of medal of courage – the fact is that he was also consistently stepping over the line, sometimes, by giant steps. If this is what has come to be known as \”business genius,\” then thank God for SOX and the myriad of SEC regulations, for this \”new morality\” is nothing more than a new label for corruption, theft and fraud.



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