Monday, June 1, 2015

Up the corporate ladder

Former CEO of insurance giant AIG, Hank Greenberg (about whom we've taken note before at HSIB), is still feisty at ninety, as two Insurance Journal reporters find out;
Trim and fit in his Park Avenue office this month, a waist- high hourglass across from his desk, he didn’t want to answer questions about the case, his company, himself or turning 90.
“I was no different the night before, the day before, the week before, the month before,” Greenberg said.
When asked if he’s mellowed with age, he set his jaw, locked his eyes straight ahead and said the interview should end. “You have no idea the things that I’m thinking about,” he said. “All I’m going to do next and the year after that and the year after that, that’s none of your business. You’ll see it when it happens.”
One of the things yet to be seen will be the results of Greenberg's lawsuit against the federal government, which is pending right now. Once thought to be a Quixotean tilting at windmills, but once the facts came out in a federal court, attitudes changed;
As the U.S. trial got under way last year, Credit Suisse Group AG analysts put his chances of winning at 1 in 10 and the New Yorker described him as “a dogged old coot.” The bank boosted odds to about 1 in 3 after his lawyer David Boies, who has represented Al Gore and Philip Morris, hauled Ben S. Bernanke, Henry Paulson and Timothy Geithner to the witness stand and wrapped up closing arguments last month.
Or, as another nonagenarian (Henry Kissinger) put it, 'It is less painful to give Greenberg what he wants than to resist.' For an example why, one could do worse than scroll down to the bottom of this IJ piece and watch the 44 minute video of an interview with him.

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