Former AIG CEO Greenberg Defends Reputation

Former AIG chief executive Hank Greenberg is defending himself against criticism that his creation of AIG’s Financial Products unit was what ultimately led to the company’s spectacular decline.

“I’ve been out of the company for four years,” he said in an interview with “How could I be responsible for the problems they are suffering?”

A source close to AIG told ABC News that Greenberg was to blame for creating a unit that “put the whole company and the whole economy at risk.”

But Greenberg, who also criticized AIG for its retention bonuses today, said that under his tenure, the unit earned $5 billion by writing credit default swaps — financial instruments that essentially act as insurance policies on other investments — that passed the standards set by “the best risk management (departments) in the damn industry.”