After I hailed the benefits of enterprise risk management in my Feb. 9 column and blog, suggesting that a chief risk officer might have helped AIG avoid some of the systemic exposures that nearly destroyed the company (and our economy along with it), readers rightfully blasted me for failing to do my homework.

As it turns out, AIG did have in place a vast ERM oversight structure, led by a CRO. Yet its Financial Products unit still drove the firm off a cliff, with taxpayers forced to hop on for the ride in mid-air!

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