AIG v. AIG: Lawsuit-hating former chairman files lawsuit

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Five years ago, AIG’s then-Chairman, Hank Greenberg, compared lawyers who sue corporations on behalf of injured plaintiffs with terrorists.   Back in 2004, The Washington Post reported:

"It’s almost like fighting the war on terrorists," Greenberg told Boston College’s Chief Executives’ Club. "I call the plaintiff’s bar terrorists."

Well, now the shoe is on the other foot and Ol’ Hankie seems willing to consort with the enemy…"I was hurt very badly," said Mr. Greenberg during an appearance on CNBC. (from Business Insurance)

So Greenberg has done what he put huge political muscle into stopping when he was running AIG: He filed a lawsuit. 

According to Dow Jones,

Greenberg has sued the company, alleging securities fraud tied to misrepresentations of billion of dollars in losses on the company’s portfolio of credit default swaps.

Don’t get me wrong, I am pretty sure that AIG defrauded shareholders.  I just don’t know if Greenberg has much standing after all he did to weaken peoples’ legal rights over the years. But also because of this from Reuters:

[Critics are asking] whether Greenberg planted the seeds of the financial disaster that already threatens to cost taxpayers $180 billion.

Greenberg’s creation more than two decades ago of a financial
products unit, which has triggered the bulk of AIG’s massive losses, is
their main focus.

Credit default swaps, or CDS, held by AIG Financial Products have
been the biggest driver of AIG’s losses, which have exceeded $100
billion over the past five quarters.

"The bottom line is that Hank Greenberg wandered out of the very
safe, well-capitalized world of insurance into the surreal world of
credit default swaps where you can create endless amount of risk," said
Christopher Whalen, co-founder of Institutional Risk Analytics, which
provides analysis and ratings to banks.

And, finally, yes, this is the same Greenberg who was forced to step down from AIG a few years ago as a result of
Elliot Spitzer’s fraud investigation of the Greenberg-led AIG.

Consumer Watchdog
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