Two obscenely rich Jews are facing off in the New York Times over Hank Greenberg’s suit to recover millions of dollars for US Government actions regarding AIG during the financial crisis. Greenberg says he was cheated by the government, although his old AIG insurance company was bankrupt and threatened to destroy the financial system unless it was rescued by the government. Steven Rattner, who was the “car czar” during the meltdown attacks Greenberg for trying to profit from a situation that his company created by its poor business practices.
Rattner, whom I really like on “Morning Joe,” is of course right. I congratulate him for not standing by Greenberg in some kind of Jewish solidarity. Rattner is correct in his closing statement that “Average Americans [me] already feel distaste for Wall Street and rich people; bringing these rapacious lawsuits can only unnecessarily exacerbate class tensions.”
The most generous interpretation I can put on Greenberg’s action is that he is embarrassed by the fact that his company was so poorly managed that it made him and the people who worked for him look like incompetent fools. Winning a lawsuit might bring him a little redemption. But for now Greenberg remains a very rich, stupid, incompetent fool. He is proof that you don’t need to be very smart to make lots of money; you just need to be very greedy, unfeeling, and probably somewhat dishonest.