The Greenberg of The AIG Story is a cross between Henry Ford, Henry Kissinger and James Bond. When some ski gondolas come loose on a Vermont mountain that he later turns into “one of America’s leading resorts”, he skis down “to warn others and prevent injuries.” When he flies to Vietnam after a hotel fire in Ho Chi Minh City “the victims and their families [are] moved by Greenberg’s presence”. He selects where to put the ashes of Cornelius Vander Starr, the founder of AIG, and builds an 18-hole golf course at his mentor’s country house “in response to requests from guests.” He is barred from AIG’s headquarters, and denied access to personal material including letters from his mother “and medical files for his dog, Snowball”. [FT]
Hank has managed to grease the requisite regulatory palms to get out from under the thumb of that whole unpleasant AIG business you may have heard about. (Vicious lies!) More importantly, Snowball will not have to worry about being the ward of some stranger during any sort of incarceration for Hank. Bloomberg explains:
Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, who led American International Group Inc. for 38 years until his ouster amid state and federal accounting probes in 2005, will pay $15 million to settle U.S. claims he manipulated the insurer’s earnings.
“This settlement brings finality for Hank,” said Jacob Frenkel, a former federal prosecutor now practicing law at Shulman Rogers in Potomac, Maryland. “A settlement means no admission, no denial, and one day of news. When they fight the charges, every event in the case is another storyline.”
So in addition to avoiding painful and disruptive adoption or dog-sitting arrangements, the daunting prospect of a life of Ruth Madoff-like notoriety (and shame) seems avoidable for Snowball and owner. We are greatly relieved.
Hank Greenberg, Ex-AIG Chief, Pays $15 Million to End SEC Probe [Bloomberg]