There is something unseemly about the face-off in U.S. District Court between Maurice “Hank” Greenberg and AIG, the company he led for so many years, over billions in stock supposedly set aside as incentive compensation for employees. In a sense, this is the final battle in an ugly divorce–one I am not certain the indomitable Mr. G can win.

It’s amazing just to see Mr. Greenberg on the witness stand, after he apparently dodged the bullet in investigations by Eliot Spitzer and the SEC, as well as a prosecution of AIG and General Reinsurance figures in Connecticut over the use of bogus finite reinsurance deals to cook AIG’s books and artificially prop up its balance sheet.

People actually went to jail for that white collar crime–including Gen Re’s former CEO, Ron Ferguson. Prosecutors in the case cited Mr. Greenberg as an unindicted co-conspirator. The presiding judge said the government’s evidence was sufficient for a jury to conclude that the conspiracy began with a phone call from none other than Mr. Greenberg.

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