Nov. 22, 2011 – To a universal chorus of columnists and bloggers calling him a greedy pig, the man who turned insurance giant AIG into a threat to help destroy the world’s economy initiated suit against the United States for “at least $25 billion.”
During the height of the world financial meltdown in September and October, 2008, the U.S. government sank $182.3 billion into AIG. This was the largest single-company bailout in American history. The complaint Maurice R. “Hank” Greenberg has in his lawsuit is that none of those billions went to him.
It has long been argued that the main incentive behind this bailout was to funnel money to the primary creditors of AIG. These international banks, including Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale, stood to take huge losses from investing in AIG, which had placed false valuations on the assets they invested in. This lawsuit does not address this issue.
Greenberg led a group who held stock in AIG when the government stepped in to prevent AIG’s implosion to help take down the global financial system. When the New York Fed extended the loan, they took a majority ownership. Greenberg says his own major holdings should have been paid for.
“The entire (AIG) disaster is directly traceable back to the arrogance and mismanagement of Hank Greenberg,” the Daily Kos wrote.