AIG Told to 'Fess Up About Its PR

"House Democrats are investigating American International Group Inc.'s role in a campaign to discredit its former chairman and chief executive officer, Maurice 'Hank' Greenberg, in the wake of federal bailouts to the insurance company totaling $182.5 billion," reports Bloomberg. Representative Edolphus Towns also asked AIG "to detail its relationship with public relations companies Burson-Marsteller and Hill & Knowlton," two of AIG's four PR firms. Towns wrote current AIG head Edward Liddy, "I would be extremely disappointed to learn that any of the billions of taxpayer dollars invested to support AIG may have been diverted to finance a public relations campaign against critics of the AIG bailout." Before Greenberg, who was forced to retire from AIG in 2005, testified before a House committee, AIG circulated a memo to news media titled "The Greenberg Legacy." The memo blamed Greenberg for creating the troubled AIG Financial Products unit, "in an effort to increase earnings," and moving the company "away from its core insurance expertise into the entirely different and complex world of credit derivatives and other complicated financial products."