Greenberg Says AIG Bailout Was Avoidable

AIG Criticized for Misuse of Bailout Money

AIG has recently come under withering criticism for misusing bailout money, such as $165 million in retention bonus payments and $50 billion to pay back U.S. and foreign financial firms that were counterparties in AIG's credit-default swap business.

"These cash payments to CDS counterparties should never have occurred," Greenburg said. When he's not blasting the government, Greenberg ripped his successors and defended his reputation after some critics blamed him for creating AIGFP, the unit that drove the company into the ground.

A source close to AIG told ABC News last month that Greenberg was to blame for forming AIGFP, which "put the whole company and the whole economy at risk."

Greenberg rejected those criticisms today.

"Massive losses at AIGFP in 2007 and 2008 resulted significantly from a shift the way the unit did business after I left the company in spring 2005," he said, adding that AIG wrote as many credit-default swaps on collateralized debt obligations in the nine months after he left as it had in his last seven years as CEO.

Greenberg exonerated himself from any blame, touting his accomplishments such as the insurance giant's market capitalization skyrocketing 40,000 percent between 1969 and 2004.

"We had comprehensive and conservative risk-management structures and procedures," he said. "Neither I nor other members of my senior management team had employment contracts. I received no severance package in connection with my retirement and I never sold a share of AIG stock during the decades that I served as CEO, although I did contribute tens of millions of dollars in stock I owned to a family foundation to be used for charitable purposes."

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