A Day in the Life: Hank Greenberg


A Day in the Life of Maurice “Hank” Greenberg

7:00 am:  Wake up.  CD alarm clock plays “It’s All Over Now” by The Rolling Stones.

7:05 am:  Mutters “wasn’t my fault” on the way into the shower.


7:30 am:  Breakfast, includes 2 egg whites, one half grapefruit, one heaping bowl of Gorilla Munch cereal (from Trader Joe’s).


7:45 am:  Phone interview with Financial Times, “Yes, the AIG Financial Products unit was started at my behest, but mainly for the purposes of reading to children and walking old ladies across the street.”

8:30 am:  En route to CNBC Studios in Englewood Cliffs, NJ.  “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” by Chicago on the radio.

Aural Torture, No I Can't Turn It Off

9:15 am:  Arrives at CNBC studio just in time for standing weekly appointment to deflect blame for $172 billion taxpayer bailout.  On-air talent is, as usual, highly cooperative.

9:30 am:  Spends 30 minutes as a guest of Squawk on the Street.  Blows off 2 questions about off-balance sheet transactions and fact that Financial Products unit had zero reserves or hedges.


10:15 am:  Leaving the studio, jots down the names of Erin Burnett‘s shampoo/ conditioner combo (Enjoy Sulfate-Free Shampoo & Garnier Fructis MoistureWorks Conditioner) on the way out, high-fives Darren (D-Money) Rovell in parking lot.

10:45 am:  Disregards text messages from current AIG CEO Ed Liddy, even the “911” texts.  “Whatever, Lidz!”

11:00 am:  Nap Time.

12:00 pm:  Lunch at Four Seasons in the Pool Room.  Informs the coat check girl that “it wasn’t my fault, I left in 2005” on the way in.  Arugula and Shaved Fennel Salad followed by Steak Tartare.  Jimmy Cayne drops by the table to say, “Don’t let the bastards bring you down, it wasn’t your fault.”  Pretends he doesn’t know who Jimmy Cayne is, mortified that this pothead is talking to him in public.


1:30 pm:  Coffee with Wall Street Journal op-ed staff,  repeated denials of culpability for largest corporate loss in history.  “We were a sleepy insurance firm when I stepped down”, and “No we didn’t pimp our AAA rating to be secret derivative cowboys in a separate holding company.”


3:00 pm:  Arrives home, avoids ad hoc protest in front of house by wearing a black beret and Ray-Ban shades, going incognito Ferris Bueller-style.

3:07 pm:  Nap Time 2.

5:00 pm:  Dinner is served.  Wild salmon, roasted on a cedar plank, side of broccoli rabe.  Corinne asks about his day, Hank mumbles something about unsecured stock-lending transactions with Goldman Sachs being a perfectly legitimate line of business for an insurance company.


6:30 pm:  Sorts the mail, separates charity event invites from Andrew Cuomo parcels of dead fishes wrapped in newspaper.


8:00 pm: Flips back and forth between House on Fox and The Biggest Loser on NBC.  Enjoys a Fudgesicle on the couch.

9:00 pm:  Dancing With The Stars on ABC, all house staff under strict orders to maintain complete silence.  Lights dimmed, Hank’s tap shoes brought in.


10:00 pm:  Enjoys post-DWTS basking.

10:08 pm:  Returning some emails, light Twittering under the handle “CaptainTimeBomb“.  Pokes Dick Fuld on Facebook and totally cyber-stalks the pages of Fuld’s female “friends”.


11:00 pm:  Bedtime.  Glass of water rests on the nightstand, “Swaps” the teddy bear waiting in the sheets.

2:00 am:  Has nightmare that insurance company he built over 40 years is dismantled in 90 days.

2:20 am:  Wakes up, realizes it wasn’t just a dream.  Whispers silent apology to shareholders, bondholders and American taxpayers everywhere.

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