Former American International Group Inc. Chairman Maurice Hank Greenberg is continuing to make the case that, “AIG had a liquidity problem, not a solvency problem,” and that it needs more time to sell its assets.
Greenberg defended that position today at the annual conference of the Captive Insurance Council of the District of Columbia, Washington.
Greenberg also continued to make the case that the problems at AIG, New York, began after he was forced out of the company.
AIG “went wild,” and, after being downgraded, “they just ran out of cash” for collateral on the credit default swaps sold by the company’s financial products unit, Greenberg said.
The declining value of the swaps ultimately led the federal government to bail out the company Sept. 17.
But other AIG operations are worth more than the current market prices would suggest, Greenberg contends.
Greenberg appeared at the captives council conference through a video transmission from his home in New York.
Greenberg left AIG under pressure from then New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer in 2005. Since then, the company has had 3 chief executive officers and has suffered through the collapse of the swaps unit.
Greenberg said during the conference that he was making the video appearance partly because he wanted to be sure to be around today.
Greenberg has said in the past few weeks that he believes AIG could have done better without federal aid, and that the company’s problems were the result of trends that started after he left the company.
Today he stuck with those positions as AIG discussed the federal rescue package and the events leading up to the rescue in a Form 10-Q quarterly report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
AIG reported $24 billion in losses this morning.
The company also reported that the federal government has agreed to replace a 2-year, $85 billion credit facility arranged in September and later financing arrangements with a 5-year, $60 billion credit facility and the purchase of $40 billion in preferred shares through the Troubled Asset Relief Program.