Tuesday, September 16, 2008

CFR Exclusive Interview: Hank Greenberg (AIG)

From the Council on Foreign Relations:

Greenberg: Global Implications if AIG Fails

... Maurice R. Greenberg, the retired chairman and CEO of AIG and current chairman and CEO of the financial services firm C.V. Starr & Co., tells CFR.org that the collapse of the firm could have major ripple effects for the global financial system given the extent of the company's operations. Greenberg, who is honorary chairman of CFR's board of directors and holds approximately 12 percent of AIG's shares, says the collapse of America's largest insurance company would be "very negative to the United States' interest." The process of unwinding the firm's various contracts could take ten years, he says, and would prove damaging for the numerous financial players involved. He says the firm's problem "is not a solvency issue, it's a liquidity issue," and that he doesn't see other insurers facing similar predicaments in the coming weeks.

I was hoping you could outline for us what you think needs to be done to stabilize AIG.

There are a number of things that need to be done. They need a temporary bridge loan from the Fed, unless Goldman Sachs and Morgan are able to raise the needed funds in the private markets. That we'll know very shortly....MORE