Hank Greenberg On AIG ‘Political Persecution’ And Bernanke’s Testimony

Former Chairman and CEO of American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG) Hank Greenberg spoke with FOX Business Network’s (FBN) Maria Bartiromo today during her inaugural week of Opening Bell with Maria Bartiromo. When asked about the AIG lawsuit, Greenberg said, “AIG was treated differently than anybody else” and that “I think it was political. I really don’t know any other answer.” Greenberg went on to say, “I think I owe it to shareholders and to myself to make sure that we do this right.” Greenberg also commented on China’s economy saying, “China is not going to grow at 11 percent…we should be negotiating a free trade agreement with China.”

Hank Greenberg On AIG 'Political Persecution' And Bernanke's Testimony

Greenberg talks insurance services, Ukraine

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Hank Greenberg on AIG lawsuit

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Greenberg: Don’t count on China falling off the map

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Greenberg: I support raising minimum wage to $10/hour

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Greenberg’s expectations for 2014

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Hank Greenberg on the AIG suit:

“American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG) was treated differently than anybody else… I think it was political.  I really don’t know any other answer. I am limited to what I could say, obviously, because I’m in the middle of a lawsuit.  And David Boyce and people are deposing Bernanke tomorrow. And I would expect they will get some answers to some of the issues.  But it’s going to trial in the fall.  I feel very confident of the position that we are in.  We have a Constitution in the United States against unlawful taking by the government.  And I think I owe it to shareholders and to myself to make sure that we do this right.”

Hank Greenberg on former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke being deposed tomorrow in AIG suit:

“Being deposed tomorrow.  If you read all of the – if you see the documents, from the Fed minutes, in fact, that was in the newspaper last weekend.  The minutes of their meetings clearly state that they had plenty of collateral with the value of American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG).  In other words, the loan they got was more than well-capitalized by AIG’s value. If that was true – and it was – why did they take the equity?  I mean, if you’ve got plenty of collateral for a loan, then why do you take the equity of the company without a shareholder vote?”

Hank Greenberg on what he is expecting in tomorrow’s deposition:

“I expect we’re going to get some answers to questions that have not been answered yet. “

Hank Greenberg on China’s economy:

“China is not going to grow at 11 percent.  It’ll probably be the area between 6 percent and 7 percent, maybe a little bit above 7 percent.  That could be managed to some extent.  They start some new projects within China, construction, infrastructure, that creates GDP growth.  And that happens. China is in a transition between only being an export country to one that has to build consumerism… But it’s underway.  It’ll take many, many years to do, but it is underway.  It’s going to happen and there will be ups and downs during that period of time…We should be negotiating a free trade agreement with China.  It may take 10 years to do; it took us seven years to do one with Korea years ago. But during that 10-year period, we will solve a lot of problems that otherwise do not get solved.  We will get to understand each other’s issues better.  It would be in our national interest to do so.  I know that China would be glad to negotiate.”

Hank Greenberg on the 2014 market outlook:

“I think GDP will grow, personally between 2.5 and 2.7 percent.”

Hank Greenberg on the increase in minimum wage:

“I support the increase in minimum wage… I think that you lose humanitarian aspects of it and I think put that aside when you have bigger fish to fry, we’ve got to get entitlements under control, that makes a difference. We have to change the tax law. We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. We want to create jobs. How are you going to do that when we have a tax regime that’s so unfair. The second thing about that is creating jobs – technology is causing a loss of jobs new technology is replacing people and that’s going to go on for some time.’”

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