Hank Greenberg: Spitzer's Lawsuit Is All Politics


Hank Greenberg accused disgraced former New York governor Eliot Spitzer of suing him just to advance his political career.

The former head of AIG asked a court yesterday to dismiss the lawsuit Eliot Spitzer brought against him. Greenberg said that Spitzer, who was the Attorney General of New York before he became govenor, had used the case to advance his political career.

To recap: Spitzer accused Greenberg and former AIG CFO Howard Smith of using sham reinsurance deals to distort the firm’s financial health.  The lawsuit eventually forced Greenberg out of AIG.

“At that time, Spitzer was planning to run for governor of the State of New York, and he has since admitted that his high-profile pursuit of Greenberg achieved its intended objective of enhancing his reputation as he pursued higher office,” his lawyer said (via Bloomberg).

No doubt officials at Bank of America are taking notes. They’ve been subject to close scrutiny over their acquisition of Merrill Lynch by Andrew Cuomo, who now has Spitzer’s role of Attorney General who wants to be governor. Cuomo’s investigation of Bank of America has boosted his public profile and his popularity, while obscuring his role as one of the chief architects of the housing bubble as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Bill Clinton.

Greenberg has lately had something of a comeback.  His vast holdings of AIG are worth milliions more thanks to a speculative frenzy in the stock. And lawmakers on Capitol Hill recently said they would adopt his plan to revive the company.  Whatever F. Scott Fitzgerald said about there not being second acts in American life certainly doesn’t apply to Greenberg.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.