How many of us thought Hank Greenberg was going to fade quietly into history when he was ousted from AIG in 2005 after nearly 40 years as CEO? Well, he’s still here and he just doesn’t stop. He’s taking on the biggest opponents (The United States Federal Government, the United States Federal Reserve Bank) in the biggest way possible (he’s suing the federal government on behalf of all shareholders at the time of the Federal takeover).
All he’s asking for is a mere $25 Billion. His case stems from the fact that on September 16, 2008 the government forced AIG to give up 79.9% of the company in exchange for it’s $85 Billion aid package (later increased to over $180 Billion) to keep the company afloat.
A quick summary of his complaint suggests that he thinks it is unfair that many financial institutions were offered generous loans at favorable interest rates during the financial crisis, while AIG had to give up 80% of the company in order to get the finances it needed.
I wonder if Mr. Greenberg believes that the shareholders of Lehman got a better deal. They didn’t hand over any of their company to the Federal Government. While I am impressed with Greenberg’s moxie, as a taxpayer I side with the Feds.