Greenberg: No Good Has Come from Spitzer Probes

Exclusive Video Interview
Greenberg Interview, Take 3: Spitzer Charges

C.V. Starr & Co. Chairman Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, former head of American International Group and a target of former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s investigations, believes Spitzer’s probes of him and the insurance industry have achieved nothing.

Also, of Spitzer’s charges against him over his tenure at AIG, the key ones with “money issues” have all been dropped, according to the former AIG executive.

In an interview with Insurance Journal at the recent Target Markets Meeting in Atlanta, Greenberg was asked if he thinks anything good has come out of Spitzer’s attacks on him, AIG or brokers. Greenberg responded, “Not at all.”

He said he believes the case against him by Spitzer will be over “pretty soon” since key charges have been dropped.

“He dropped all the money issues, the so-called financial issues. What’s left had no effect whatever on AIGs income statement. None at all,” Greenberg maintained.

Last fall, Spitzer dropped two of six civil charges but his legal team disputed the idea that the remaining charges involving deceptive accounting claims are unimportant.

“The heart of the case remains,” David Brown, chief of Spitzer’s Investment Protection Bureau told The Associated Press last September. Brown said that the dropped charges became moot after AIG settled a separate case brought by Spitzer and adopted accounting reforms.

At that time, Greenberg’s lawyer, David Boies, said he expected more charges would fall.

Boies also said that “to the extent that the remaining accounting disputes affected AIG’s financial statements at all, most of the effect is attributable to accounting decisions that were undisputedly reviewed with, and approved by, AIG’s current management.”

In February, 2006, AIG paid $1.64 billion to settle allegations over its accounting practices but that settlement did not cover Greenberg, who retired in March 2005 as chairman and chief executive officer and pledged to fight the Spitzer action in court.

Watch Greenberg’s comments on Spitzer charges.

Watch the complete 37-minute video interview with Insurance Journal at the recent Target Markets Meeting in Atlanta.

An edited print version of the interview may also be found in the May 21 issue of Insurance Journal magazine.

Some material from The Associated Press was used in this story.