14. Guest Speaker Maurice "Hank" Greenberg





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Published on Apr 5, 2012

Financial Markets (2011) (ECON 252)

This is a guest lecture by Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, former Chief Executive Officer at American International Group. Mr. Greenberg starts his lecture with reflections on his time in the U.S. Army during World War II and the Korean War as well as on his first job in the insurance business as a junior underwriter. Subsequently, after meeting Cornelius Vander Starr, he restructures Starr's failing company The American Home and creates the American International Group (AIG). Factors that have contributed to AIG's success include global diversification through the opening of markets worldwide, the development of innovative insurance products, like political risk insurance and kidnap ransom insurance, and a unique corporate culture that manifests itself in Mr. Greenberg's view of the senior management during his time as a band of brothers. Turning his attention to the early years of the 21st century, he addresses Eliot Spitzer's role in his parting from AIG in 2005 and describes the developments at AIG that ultimately resulted in the government's bailout of the company. He concludes with his personal assessment of the causes of the financial crisis from 2007-2008 and a critical perspective on the role of the government during this crisis. In the following questions-and-answers session, he talks, among other topics, about the insurance industry in China, and shares his views about AIG's current CEO Robert Benmosche and the Dodd-Frank Act from 2010.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction of Maurice "Hank" Greenberg
01:56 - Chapter 2. The Start of a Career in the Insurance Industry
10:33 - Chapter 3. Creating AIG and its Basic Principles of Operation
14:37 - Chapter 4. The Connection between Foreign Policy and Business
20:09 - Chapter 5. AIG's Growth and the Expansion into Financial Services
28:30 - Chapter 6. Eliot Spitzer and Greenberg's Parting from AIG
32:31 - Chapter 7. AIG Shortly before and during the Financial Crisis
44:45 - Chapter 8. Assessment of the Causes of the Financial Crisis
52:16 - Chapter 9. Questions & Answers

Complete course materials are available at the Yale Online website: online.yale.edu

This course was recorded in Spring 2011.

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