Saturday, April 15, 2006

Hank Greenberg Speaks

Today's WSJ carries a very important editorial in which the former chairman of AIG speaks out about the incredibly destructive effects of regulation. The article also sheds some light on a man whom I consider to be among the most evil men in America -- Eliot Spitzer.
Mr. Greenberg hasn't dimmed, but he believes America has. "You couldn't build an AIG today," he explains. Overbearing regulators, new corporate governance rules, protectionism, a failing tort system, prosecutors unleashed--these, as he sees them, are the obstacles to corporate greatness. And Mr. Greenberg is uniquely positioned to know.

It isn't just that over 38 years he transformed a tiny operation into a global insurance empire currently valued at $169 billion, a feat that even detractors--and he has many--admit counts as one of the great corporate success stories. It's that Mr. Greenberg was front and center to witness how prosecutors, regulators and lawyers could bring that success to its knees, practically overnight. "Why is it that private equity is growing as fast as it is. . . . Why are public companies not doing as well? Once [a country] gets a reputation that way, once it loses momentum, it takes quite a while to regain it. It doesn't happen overnight," says Mr. Greenberg.
I wonder if Greenberg has ever read Atlas Shrugged?

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