Title: AIG – a Greek tragedy 'Wickedness' of the wicked and the 'mischief' of the virtuous

Authors: Abraham J. Briloff, Leonore A. Briloff

Addresses: Suite 1600, 274 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA. ' Suite 1600, 274 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA

Abstract: Maurice Greenberg is seen as |wicked|, at least by the Attorney General of the State of New York because Greenberg is accused of being responsible for ancextensive array of accounting distortions providing false and misleading financial statements of American International Group, the insurance enterprise that Greenberg helped create and headed for some 40 years. This essay sees the Greenberg saga as much like a Greek tragedy, along the lines of Oedipus. The essay is less to probe the wickedness of Greenberg than to probe the mischief, which the very virtuous are responsible for, in the years of false and misleading financial statements by AIG. It considers principally the important avenue of the alleged accounting distortions, i.e., related to the use and abuse of reinsurance arrangements.

Keywords: American International Group; AIG; accounting distortions; false statements; misleading statements; financial statements; certified public accountancy; reinsurance; critical accounting.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCA.2010.030342

International Journal of Critical Accounting, 2010 Vol.2 No.1, pp.8 - 18

Published online: 14 Dec 2009 *

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